Monthly Archives: December 2008

A New Year

 It will soon be 2009 and I feel as if it snuck up on me. A new year always seems strange to me and it often takes me a few weeks to get used to calling it the new year.  Something about it seems so mysterious and far off, yet so familiar and like we’ve done it a million times. There seems to be something about a new start, a chance to do things differently, a chance to improve, a chance for change that is inspiring, though sometimes frustrating when thinking of the past.

 Past years and mistakes can often seem to “haunt” us with memories of resolutions broken and all the times we fail. I have usually made resolution for as long as I can remember, but I can not remember ever keeping them totally. Thinking about it now, I think a reason for that is lack of prayer about it.

 Resolutions always seem to be something that “we” do. It’s about our will and our determination, and that’s why I think that God hasn’t let me succeed in my attempts at resolutions. I am just learning now the balance between what we do and what God does when it comes to holiness and righteousness. We obviously can not do anything on our own and it’s only through God’s grace and strength we are able to do what’s right, but we also have a responsibility to do what’s right. It’s confusing to figure out, but something that’s important. Either end of the spectrum can be very dangerous.

 This year I came to the New Year with many goals ahead of me before I even thought about making resolutions. There are things that I know God is speaking to me that I need to change. Things I need to do to make better use of my time. I guess if I was to make a resolution, I would say that I want to work harder at glorifying God with my whole heart, soul, mind, and life. I don’t want to leave ANY part that Jesus is not in total control of it and I have not surrendered to Him. That is my dream and my goal, but it’s not really something that is solved in a year, it takes a lifetime.

 God bless you in 2009 and may you live more and more to serve and glorify the God of the universe! Soli Deo Gloria!

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To Fear the Lord (What Does it Look Like?)

 In my post on women who fear the Lord, I got an anonymous comment that I wanted to take a whole post answering because I know that my response comment would be just as long. :)

This is true. But what’s the opposite thing that we’re supposed to be doing?[Opposed to getting nail done, etc.] What are the big and small ways in which we stand out as Christian women?

 Well I think the best answer I have is to tell you what I admire about the women that I listed in my previous post. In my opinion, the biggest thing these women all have in common in a wholehearted passion to Jesus Christ. They love him like crazy and they are not just halfhearted about it. A heart that is passionately in love with it’s Savior is going to stand out. Love for Christ flows out into our actions. (1 John 2:28-29, 3:1-10, 2 John 1:4-6) These are the main things I look up to in these women.

  • Self Sacrifice. These women are all characterized with being willing to give things up for Christ and what He has called them to do. They fear God rather than man and focus on Him. They are willing to go off to foreign countries, stay at home and raise their children in a way pleasing to God, are being counterculture in ways that make the world stop and stare.
  •  Faithfulness through trials. These are real women who have gone through real things that have been tough. Almost half the women on my list have struggled, or still struggle, with health problems. Yet they have learned to praise God in the midst of it and they see that God has a plan with all things.
  • Love for People. These women LOVE people like crazy!!!! I can’t even begin to talk about the amazing love I have witnessed in these women. They are willing to serve people in humility and take joy in helping others. They want to see the weak Christians become strengthened, they want to see the lost come to Christ, they want to see their families love and serve Christ. It’s all an out flowing of their passionate love for Christ.
  • Love for the Bible.They know the importance of the word of God and of good doctrine. They seek to know God through His precious word and each day is a search for what God says about different issues. The Bible is their light and guide.
  • Encouragement.I have been so blessed by the encouragement I have received from these women, even those I have never met. But specifically those I do know personally. They’re the type of women who say “keep going!” “You can do it!” “With Jesus you are going to go so far!” and it is amazing the power it has had on me.

These are the general things that I admire in these women and seek to do myself. I could get into why I admire each one of these women, but that would take far too long and a dozen blog posts. J I don’t think any of you want that. God bless you all and I pray that you girls and women reading this will seek to be like this and those guys that are reading my blog will remember that this is what they should look for in a wife.

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Filed under Everyday Life, Faith, heroes, Passion

What’s Up

 Well before I go into my busy stretch of things over the next few weeks I wanted to give any of you faithful readers a heads up that posting will be slow for awhile. The next three weeks or more I am going to be “running around like a chicken with my head cut off” (to quote my mom who grew up on a farm J ). I am heading over to a friend’s church tomorrow for their annual lock-in and will probably spend Saturday crashing from that. Then it’s the business of the few days before Christmas and all those celebrations.

Now here is the coolest part… next Saturday we are leaving for *dramatic music* … FLORIDA!!!!! We are so excited to get out of the minus zero temps and lay out on the beach for two weeks!!! My dad’s half sister is getting married and so we are heading down to the sunshine state for that. We didn’t think we would be able to make it, but with gas prices going down so much and there is a family in our church who’s daughter (who was actually my camp counselor this summer) is getting married and her future in-laws are from CA so they are going to give us some money to rent out our house while we are gone. So praise the Lord for that!

I am very excited to also be able to stop by some close friends I have made online, on our way. I have been talking to them through emails, blogs, IM, and Facebook for the last six months or so. It is going to be really nice to be able to meet them in person and hang out.

I will have internet while we are gone, but probably wont have much writing time. But maybe when I am basking in the sun I’ll be able to come up with some brilliant poem or song to share with y’all. It’s become too cold up here for my mind to work right… so I am excited to get thawed out. J God bless you all over the next few weeks and have a great Christmas!

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Women Who Fear the Lord

“We don’t want life to pass us by, because this is the best time ever. Acting your age and being silly is fun!” 17-year-old Cammie explains.

 

This is the so called “message” of the pop trio The Rubyz that was featured in Brio’s magazine for teen girls a few months back (click here to see the full article). I was very unimpressed by this pop group. These are the girls that Brio are telling girls to look up to and to see as role models. Girls that love to go shopping, get their nails done, have sleepovers, and go to the movies. Are these really the girls that are worth emulating? I personally want to look up to girls and women that are giving their all for Christ and are living set-apart, poured out lives for Him. I want to look up to people who are constantly trying their best to die to this sinful world we live in.

I have found that in many women, some of the past, and some that I know today. People of the past like Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth Elliot, Jonni Erickson Tada, just to list a few. Young women in our present day like Kaysie (from Alabaster Box), Lauren and Abigail (from Pearls and Diamonds), Columbine martyr Rachel Scott, former camp counselors of mine that I know see going off as missionaries and have such a passion for Christ, and there are many women that aren’t as young that I have been able to look up to. Like my mother, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Nunley (both moms of good friends of mine), Caroline Buer (one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known who also goes to my church), Leslie Ludy, and many others. God has blessed me with woman that don’t spend their days leisurely at the mall getting their nails done, but serving the Lord in both big and small ways. They have faced real trials and have still remained faithful to the Lord.

These are the kind of women that I look at and say, “that’s what I want to be like when I am older, and even now”, not girls like the Rubyz or many other girls that Christians tell us to look up to, that don’t really deserve it. We often times look up to women because they are in the spotlight instead of because their character and how they live their life. Proverbs 31: 30 says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Those women who fear the Lord and those we should praise. If there are any teen girls reading this who have been looking for women to have as role models, the women that I have listed are ones that I highly recommend. J

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Awarded

 Well I was awarded the “Uber Amazing Blog” award over at Pearls and Diamonds. I am so thankful to these girls (or should I say women?) for their example of both Christ centered romance and singleness. They are both uber amazing people with uber amazing hearts for Christ. :)

 So now for the rules…. You give this award to five bloggers who:

1. Inspire you
2. Make you smile and laugh
3. Give amazing information
4. Are a great read
5. Have an amazing design
6. And any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!
The rules to this award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing! ***if you don’t have 5 that’s okay.***
3. Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.
So here are my choices for those blogs that I think are totally amazing.
  1. Abigail at Random Ramblings of a Teenage Artist
  2. Anna at Hope Road
  3. Kaysie at Alabaster Box (though I know she had already been awarded this, I’ll just give it to her again. :D)
  4. Trey at Youth of Eternity (what can I say? He is my second big brother.)

 So those are my picks for some Uber amazing blogs. There are a ton more out there but these are the 4 that really stood out to me.

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White as Snow

The ground right now is covered in oodles and oodles of snow. It’s snowing right now and it’s such a wondrous sight. I love the look of snow at Christmas time, even though by the time March rolls around I can’t stand the sight of it. J New fallen snow, the white, fresh, pure kind, is so amazing. Snow has been one of the greatest reminders in my life of the grace of God.

To think that he makes our hearts as white as snow… so pure and lovely and clean… it blows my mind away to try to dwell on it. Before Jesus came and redeemed me, my heart was black. It didn’t matter if I had done good things or had grown up in a Christian home, I was still evil because I had rebelled against God in my heart, thoughts, and actions. I was just as bad of a sinner as the thief that hung on the cross beside Jesus. But now, now that he has bought me with his precious blood and now that I am a slave (or bondservant) to him instead of sin, my heart has been made as lovely as the new fallen snow.

He is constantly making my heart more pure and holy as I grow in my love and faith in Him. He is constantly making my thoughts, actions, and desires conform to His and to become white as snow. The thought brings me to my knees. My heart has been cleaned. I am free. It is not of my own doing but the grace of the mighty King of Kings! It’s a free gift that He has given me. I am blessed beyond compare to have received this marvelous gift of salvation.

Remember this Christmas season that if you are a passionate follower of Christ, then you have been given a gift a million times more wonderful than any other gift you could ever receive. You have been given grace. Grace that transcends all that you have ever done. Grace that makes you as white as snow. So take time to thank our amazing savior and Lord for the grace He has given us, grace that washes our very souls.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

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Destiny of the Manger

Something has been demanding my rapt attention in my mind lately in this Christmas season. I feel captivated by a single thought and amazed by it. It has a tight hold on my small brain and wont let go, but that is a good thing. I think this Christmas I have been struck by the true meaning of Christmas more than ever before.

Christmas is all about Christ coming down as a human to save our souls, even if we try to make it about Santa and warm feelings and such, we can’t change it. Without Jesus there would be no Christmas. Plain and simple. But I am being even more so by the destiny of the little babe in the manger.

Christmas is more than just celebrating the birth of Jesus, it’s celebrating that because he was born, and because someday he would die, we can have eternal life. For Christians, Christmas should be a celebration of salvation. We should be celebrating that we now have life. That Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died the death we deserved, rose from the dead three days later, and now sits in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God. Because of the death he died we can have a relationship with God and we have become his children. In reality, Christmas is all about the cross. Without that beautiful cross there would be no Christmas. Without the cross Jesus would of just been another good man. Without the cross there would be no reason to celebrate.

Have you ever noticed how the baby in the manger is not the one that offends people but it is the man hanging on a cross that does? It’s His claims that He is the only way to heaven. It’s His perfection and His deity that confuses and angers people. People like the baby in the manger, it’s not offensive. But the manger is not where the story ends.

I think these few lines from Relient K’s Christmas song “I Celebrate The Day” sums this all up the best.
“To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life”

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