Monday, November 29, 2004

This test gives way too honest results...

Sloth

62%

Gluttony

50%

Wrath

38%

Pride

38%

Lust

12%

Greed

6%

Envy

6%

Seven deadly sins
created with QuizFarm.com

Life is a vapor

After writing my last post we learned that a dear friend and colleague of my husband lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly. Thanksgiving he was there, the next morning she found he had gone in the night. The only hint of anything wrong was that he had not felt like eating much Thanksgiving dinner. They think perhaps he had a viral infection. Please remember Christina and her children in your prayers.

People, life on earth is short, but our soul is eternal. Please, please know where your soul will spend eternity.

Life as a Vapor

"Come now, you who say,
"Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." (James 4:13, 14 NAS)


For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to Thee,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from Thee,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)


Why are we here?

I simply can't believe that this amazing, complex universe with all it's inhabitants happened by chance.... therefore I must believe in a Creator. And if we are created, we must have been created for a purpose. Sure, God could have created beings that love Him unconditionally without questions... but what joy would that bring?

How much joy do we have when we love someone and we find that love is returned in kind? It's cute when a 19 month old says "love you mama" simply because her sisters say it... but it brings infinitely more joy when your four year old takes your face between her hands and sweetly says "I do love you mama!"... and one practically bursts with joy & pride when one awakens bright and early on Thanksgiving morning to stuff the turkey and mop the floor before others awaken... only to find the deeds already done by a 14 year old who "just wanted to show you how much I love & appreciate you, mom" ... all of her own free will. So loving God out of our own free will brings our Creator so much more joy... and seeking to know Him and to show His love to others through Him brings Him such great delight.

How can we know Him? Click here if you would like to find out how to know God personally.

"But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight--not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago.
We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.
And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.
Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty.
He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.
For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us.
We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.
God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times.
And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus.
Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God?
No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds.
It is based on our faith.
So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
After all, God is not the God of the Jews only, is he?
Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles?
Of course he is.
There is only one God, and there is only one way of being accepted by him.
He makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.
Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law?
Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law." (Romans 3:24-31 NLT)

It's hard for me to say "we're moving to Ohio" because I know only God knows the plans He has for us. I do know we have signed a contract with a realtor to list our house for sale. I do not know if we will actually arrive to that day when we move our belongings into a home on Ohio soil. Uncertainties like that used to scare me... but I am learning what a Good and Gracious God we serve. How dear, and how sweet He is. I know whatever life may bring, my life is firmly in His hand. I think I'm finally learning what was meant when it was said of the Proverbs 31 woman "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future." I can not yet say I am strong, or dignified... but I think am learning to smile a bit more bravely at the future, because this life *is* but a vapor... eternity is so much more.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Soul Longs for God

Our souls were created to love the Lord. When we are not doing this, there is an emptiness that our soul is seeking to fill.

Our life will seem to be missing something very important... and no matter how hard we try we won't be able to fill in that vacant spot. Our soul is yearning; aching, climbing... trying to fly towards God... and we confuse that restlessness for other things.

We have longings we question. We have remorse or a sadness and we think if we just do something different, or find the right hobby or gift, that something will click and that brokenness will be fixed.

But what we really need... what we really yearn for... what we really desire... what we really hope for... what we long for... what we fear... is the Lord!

We don't have to fix the emptiness ourselves. We only have to let go and let God.

Let our souls soar toward Christ, and He will fill that empty space and every need. He completes us!

God created our soul and our soul recognizes Him. Our soul will continue to seek Him.

It will search for Him even more when we pull away from Him. When we try to fill the hole with anything but Him, the soul will not stop pulling towards Him even more.

Do you have a need right now, any need? Is there a longing from deep within, any longing?

Perhaps your soul is seeking Him!

He will be ready for you... He is always ready for you. He is ready to water your thirsty soul...

He longs, oh so much, to fill your soul with quietness and rest... and joy, oh the joy, of our soul meeting Him.


The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.

You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

(Psalm 23 - NLT)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Don't Forget Your Flashlight!

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right.
It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.
(Timothy 3:16,17 - NLT)

Today I was reading these verses and wondering... why sometimes someone is a Christian and then one day they wake up and reject the Truth? I wondered how can they leave their First Love? When one has tasted of Christ and known His goodness... how sweet He is... how can they possibly then deny Him? Does not our very being long for Him?
Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!
(Psalm 34:8 - NLT)


At first I thought... perhaps He was never their First Love, and they never really knew Him.

But then I had another thought. "When do I ever doubt Him?"

When I have not spent time with Him in a while!

When do we doubt our husbands love us? When they have a deadline to meet at work and they are working very long hours and when they are home they are still thinking of what still needs to be accomplished at work to meet that deadline... and all of their thoughts are filled with calculations... wheels are whirring and spinning in their head... even in their sleep they talk out loud... troubleshooting this and that... One starts to feel a bit neglected... less special... second place... one sharp word spoken in weariness and we think they've never loved us all along... even though, after 15 years of marriage... we *know* he really does love us... but we have not spent time together in days, perhaps weeks, and doubts niggle at us. Then the project is over, we steal a dinner away, just the two of us, without kids... and we talk about hopes and dreams and laugh together, and we remember... he *does* love us!

So is it with the Lord! The Lord is always there loving us. He is not the one busy, busy, busy with no time for us, though... We are the ones who forget to give Him the time... the first fruits of our day. We are the ones who forget to read His Love Letter to us... or simply shrug it off... thinking what we have read in the past will be enough to sustain us... but days go by... then we run into someone who voices some doubts... and we think "what if they're right?"... but we push the thought aside... yet, perhaps, it begins to niggle... we forget how He has shown Himself to us in the past... we become uncertain of His presence.... Then one day we have some spare time and we pick up the Bible and begin to read, and suddenly it all floods back... He brings back memory after memory of times He has clearly said "I love you"... He brings back portions of His word He has spoken to you that remove all doubt of how True He is. He brings revelations to us, like blinders falling off, and everything is new and fresh again.

Perhaps then, also, those former believers gradually spent less and less time in the Word, or perhaps they never really did get into it in the first place... and the memories of their First Love begins to fade... and doubts begin to niggle... and one day we just no longer seem to know Him at all. Someone mentions Him, and we feel fear. But why? When we knew Him, did we know fear?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
(II Timothy 1:7 - NLT)

In April 1841 at Milton Church in Glasgow, Scotland, John Duncan taught: "Multitudes stand away from God in utter forgetfulness of Him — at least, in as great forgetfulness of Him as they can possibly reach to. But when a man in reality thinks of approaching unto God, with any knowledge of who He is unto whom he intends to approach — Jehovah, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders — then there arises in the soul a conscience of sin. The feelings of guilt are almost lulled asleep; they are very weak in men naturally. But when there is any sight of the holy God, any wish to draw near to Him, the purity and the holiness of the divine nature inspire the sinner with alarm — with just alarm — for "He is not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; evil shall not dwell with Him, nor fools stand in His sight." Sin stains the conscience."

Oh, how we daily need to be right with Him! How we need to treasure and keep that relationship with Him! I can think of nothing sweeter than to rise early, put on a sweater, and take a cup of hot coffee and a quilt, along with my Bible, out to the porch swing to watch the sunrise... and spend time with Him, in the first fruits of my day. When I do this, my worries are brushed away, my walk is lighter, my step surer, and I have no doubts of His love throughout the day... I remember His thoughts, I hear His heart, and I have a little bit of heaven in my every day life.

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
(Psalm 63:1 - NLT)


In August we were camping and I walked to the restrooms late at night with Rembrandt and Barrett to brush my teeth before bed... when I was finished I decided I could walk back to camp on my own, in the dark, and I left the lantern with them. How wrong I was! I fell headlong over a huge boulder and to this day, three months later, my shin still hurts to touch it. Don't be fooled into thinking you can walk in the dark without your flashlight.

"Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."
(Psalm 119:105 - NLT)

"Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty."
(Jeremiah 15:16 - NLT)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

It's officially official...

We're going to move! We're putting our house on the market right after the holidays.

WhooHoo! Good-bye Golden State, hello Buck-Eye!
Enjoy A Christian Home's Thanksgiving Page
casablanca
"You must remember this, a kiss is still a
kiss". Your romance is Casablanca. A
classic story of love in trying times, chock
full of both cynicism and hope. You obviously
believe in true love, but you're also
constantly aware of practicality and societal
expectations. That's not always fun, but at
least it's realistic. Try not to let the Nazis
get you down too much.


What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
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In other news...

Charlie Daniels is proud to live in JesusLand
Kevin McCullough (WorldNetDaily) says "Shut up and leave already!"




what decade does your personality live in?


quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd




Traveler
Random traveler!


Where is your dream place?
brought to you by Quizilla via A Call to Adventure




You Are the Stuffing




You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Don't miss...

"America Speaks Out" by Jaymen over at Illuminated Obscurity

The Dawn Treader teaching Worldviews


I've never been fond of light goldenrod yellow -- but this description fits me to a tee

you are light goldenrod yellow
#FAFAD2

Your dominant hues are red and green, so you're definately not afraid to get in and stir things up. You have no time for most people's concerns, you'd rather analyze with your head than be held back by some random "gut feeling".

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz


I'm terza rima, and I talk and smile.
Where others lock their rhymes and thoughts away
I let mine out, and chatter all the while.

I'm rarely on my own - a wasted day
Is any day that's spent without a friend,
With nothing much to do or hear or say.

I like to be with people, and depend
On company for being entertained;
Which seems a good solution, in the end.

What Poetry Form Are You?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Seeing Red?

Where I stand
I finally figured out that my kids use Japanese Smilies -- I often saw them use @_@ ...or O_O ...or T_T ...or =^.^= ...or >_< and I had no idea what they were doing. *_*

Find more "Facemarks" here: http://club.pep.ne.jp/~hiroette/en/facemarks/

Thursday, November 04, 2004