Sunday, December 20, 2009
I heard a story of a family who made it their tradition to give Jesus a part of every Christmas with them. Even though he was not there in flesh, they set an empty chair at one end of the table - just for Him. They made a birthday cake, even though He did not eat any (lol). And they sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus! Now you know He heard them singing. Ü One year a distant relative came for Christmas. When he asked the six year old girl of the family if she got everything she wanted for Christmas, she thought for a moment, and then replied, "No... but then, it isn't my birthday."
"Out of the mouth of babes..." Psalm 8:2
That little girl knew and understood the true meaning of Christmas, when most adults don't. She'll touch her generation. She has touched every generation, even though we don't know her name! This year, whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday, if only once, remember Jesus and thank Him for His gift to us. Even if December 25th is your birthday, it's the time we remember Christ's. And no one would be here to celebrate this blessed day if He had not come on that glorious night. Born to die, Jesus my Saviour. Have a merry Christmas and God bless!!!
Monday, December 14, 2009
A very good friend of mine once told me she did not believe this because she read this verse out of Revelation 22: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
So, according to this verse, if any one who is saved, takes any information from the Bible's prophecy, he loses his salvation and he is once again doomed to meet all of hell some day. But I want to open a new thought to some of you... which may sound absolutely CRAZY... oh well... I think believing you can lose your salvation is absolutely crazy!!! lol...
Here's the thought: What if, with the understanding that we are all wanted and hoped for by God, everyone's names are written in the book of life from the beginning? Hold your horses - I'm getting somewhere with this!
Romans 8:29-30 says "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
What does that verse tell you? Answer for yourself. Has God EVER justified the wicked? No! He's a just God! You are justified when you get saved. God has called everyone to repentance. He has foreknown every person to ever be born - and unborn. He has predestinated everyone to be saved. But just because someone is destined, it doesn't mean they will fulfill that destiny - because we are all given a choice. God has crowned man with glory and honour from the beginning. He made us all upright, but we have sought many inventions. (Ecclesiastes 7:29) We have not sought after God, but after ourselves. I believe every person's name was, at one time, written in the book of life. So, what now?
There are two sins that get your name blotted out of the book of life: The one in Revelation 22 and denying the Lord Jesus Christ while on earth (Matthew 10:33). If on earth, and you do not accept Jesus's blood to cleanse you from all your sin, then after death your name is blotted out because you rejected - denied - His offer. A truly saved person will not deny Him anyway. A truly saved person won't take away from His Word!!! Even if you believe in God, believe in Jesus, believe in heaven and hell, your name will be wiped out of that precious book if you go your whole life without accepting your need of a Saviour. Think about it - Who goes to hell? Who is in hell? The dead which are unsaved - whether they refused to be saved or knew not of their need to be saved. Right up until that last breath, there was still a chance for them to accept Christ and be eternally secure. But once they deny Him - swipe. Once they change His Word - swipe. Is forgiveness possible? Always - this is the age of grace. But death is the happening that seals the deal - when we are either separated from, or brought into God's presence. Once that last breath is taken, it is too late.
Now, I cannot even commit to you that a saved person would actually do such terrible things. "What if I just try it out... ya know, see what happens?" you might say. You-are-a-fool. In fact, might wanna check your heart to see if it's genuine.
In 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul said, "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have comitted unto him against that day." So, therefore, Christ is obligated to me, to keep my salvation. He promised. Our part is to trust, His part is to keep us.
Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"
You can't argue on this point because then you'll be pushed to prove that you're right. How prideful.
Now - if you believe that this concept is too far to grasp, that's OK. By no means am I pushing you! But it is important to me that all know the truth. This is a subject that defines how a daughter or son of God views their Father in heaven. Remember, we were put under grace when Jesus came, and were freed from the law. So without further ado, here is your proof.
"Then he said, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first [law], that he may establish the second [grace]. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Hebrews 10:9-14
I'm going to stop right here for a second and bring to light that those verses say "for ever" ... not "for ever, unless the sanctified defile themselves again." If you are a true child of God, why would you change or take away from His words? Why would you deny him? You wouldn't. So why even consider the possibility of losing one's salvation? It continues on in verses 15-18:
"Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us; for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."
The debt that we owed (our sin debt, as seen in Romans 6:23) was paid in full by Jesus, once for all, from the beginning of our sinful lives, to the end of them. And God knew all the sins we would commit... don't you think He would make a way for us? Even for the most lost - the most wretched? The Lord says He will remember our evil no more! So what if someone takes from God's Word - or flat out rejects Him during their life before death? That's what atheists do. Is it possible for those souls to be saved before death? Hebrews tells: once for all. Of course it is possible. BUT, they have to accept Christ BEFORE they die. Remember, death seals the deal! John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
...not an everlasting life that depends on one wrong choice. Works cannot save you (Ephesians 2:8,9), neither can works un-save you. Do you doubt? God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He saves anyone who will call on the name of His Son... for ever, because God is not partial. I really hope y'all see the truth presented right from God's Word - not with your eyes, but with your heart.
Jesus, Who is Faithful and True, said this in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I think it is about time I told you about my brother's blog! He started it about a month ago, but wanted to wait til he had got everything all fixed up and ready. Here it is:
Go check it out - he'd LOVE some new followers!!!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Horse hooves beating into the ground
Running through a big, wide, open field with my friends
The Texas sky
Thursday, October 29, 2009
...a post that will be about salvation. Have been working on it for the past month!!! So.... I'll do a different post for the time being ...... tomorrow. Or perhaps next week! this week has been crazy.... I mean CRAZY! Nothing but hustle and bustle!!!! here's a little something I want to share with y'all:
"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust him." Nahum 1:7
The only 100% positive verse in Nahum! The rest is condemnation and prophesied destruction to a certain people. Thank God for his goodness - that amidst turmoil, he still reserves deliverance for those who serve him - for those who trust him. Ü
Friday, October 9, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Actually, my friend and I had a show-down about Tech and Texas (the wretched Longhorns who are too bull-headed... haha... for their own good)! She tried the oldest attack in the book "You don't like Longhorns!? You're a sinner - you need to get right!" So I was classy and in such a sparkling way, replied, "Well, you know..... wisdom is justified of her children." Oh yeah - gotcha girl! (Check out Matthew 11:19 and you'll totally understand what I meant by this). Oh, I'm so proud of myself, I got her on that!
So, God bless all of you guys, (and gals), please pray for my trip with my missionary friend, that God will keep us safe. Ü Til next week!!!!
No, just to Kansas. I'm going with my missionary friend on her excursions of deputation before she leaves for a wonderful place - the Ukraine! She has a ministry with the kids there at an orphanage..... oh how I WISH I could go too! So I'll be gone with her this Saturday through Monday. Please pray for our safety! I'm kind of nervous because I don't know what the church is like. Some churches are so warm and inviting, welcoming you right into the family (that's my church!) but some are cold and lifeless - God help us (if that's the kind of church we go to on Sunday!). But through it all she and I will have soooooooooooooooo much fun. She's an awesome girl and I'm crazy. Together we're both unstoppable and part-controllable...... don't worry, we'll behave. Maybe I'll have some pics to put up when I get back. I don't think I've ever been to Kansas before......
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
(Drum roll please...............) It's my birthday! The Maiden of the South was born today, August 20th to two wonderful parents. Ü I am indeed greatful for another year of life and am looking foward to all that's going to happen today..... and in the upcoming year.
So far, I've been called by 5 people - one of whom is my friend from Illinois. She called me at 8:37 AM - the exact time I was born 17 years ago! And when she finally got me on the phone (she called right when 2 other people called - haha) she put her phone on speaker and played me Happy Birthday on the guitar, while singing! What a talented friend I have... that was one of my favorite parts of the day so far. I've never had someone who's half way across the country sing me Happy Birthday! Then I went over to a friend's house and rode her horse - yes, I wanted to ride on my birthday! So it was just me and Savvy (the horse) running across the countryside, and the dog, who tagged along!
Later today I'll begin traveling to a far, far away place..... (lol, still in Texas) with a bunch of my family members to a restaurant that I've never been before, but my grandparents say it's really good..... so I'm takin' their word for it! It's a Texas Grill house....... now, I don't know if y'all have Montana Grills, or Ohio Grills, supposidly not a New York Grill, but a Texas Grill house is strictly superb!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're talking steak, chicken fried steak, chicken friend chicken, ribs, you name it (in the meats, of course). haha!! And while there, I'll get to open *presents*!!!! I'm also expecting a little surprise at the end.... but nobody's suppose to know that! :> Maybe I'll get a surprise chocolate cake 'n ice cream deal (because everyone knows how much I adore chocolate!).
Earlier, the best daddy in the world (*ahem* my Daddy!) came in from a hard day's work and handed me a bouquet of yellow daisies! They're gorgeous!!! And they smell sweet and mellow..... like a summer day. Well, there may be more later, but if not, "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!...."
Thank You Lord for giving me life, for allowing me to be born a free girl in the best place on earth - America! And in the best, most sovereign state - Texas...... And thank You for letting me be born to two parents who will never quit their stations as followers of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Thank you for every breath of life that I take for granted, for every sunrise and sunset I've ever seen, every loved-one, every friend, every blessing.......
Monday, August 10, 2009
One day we decided to get a new used van. So we went to the dealership and bought a blue Dodge-mini. But..... we didn't pray over our choice. We did not include God in our search. And we've been paying for it ever since! We had this blue Dodge mini-van for over 5 years, and the thing gave us problems all along. Around the beginning of this year is when all the big problems started. It began with an oil leak, to the transmission being totally shot - worthless - useless. (*big, sarcastic smile*) Dad took it to the shop time and time again.... still, the piece of junk wouldn't get better! We were spending a lot of money, with added gas expenses, topped with other things we were still trying to pay off. Until then, I was the encourager, aiding everybody on to believe and have faith in God. My faith was now being tested. We prayed for a long time, and twice, we actually considered two different vehicles! Once it was a Honda mini, next a Honda Pilot. Ahhhhhhh..... I loved, loved, *loved* the Pilot!!! But neither of those worked out. Besides, a Pilot was a rather insensible choice for this family of six - so we thought! I know we could have managed, but anyway... Mom and Dad looked and looked and looked (!) on the internet for another vehicle that wasn't gonna break down on us, but it seemed like they'd have to travel half way across the country for a good used one. And with gas expenses like they are - yeah right! So, eventually, we gave up. Well, not really. But we gave it all to God. We decided to stand still and let God move. Then one normal day, as my Mom was just wishfully checking out vehicles, she found a black Honda Pilot in the town right next to us! No way, it's just a fluke. Dad and Mom decided to take us kids and go check it out anyway. So they did, and they thought it was a pretty good deal. Until..... a car salesman-friend of my Dad's told him that it was really worth $4,000 less, and that his dealership could find us one for the lesser amount. Oh no! You gotta be kidding me!!! We gotta wait!? Until... the dealership we had started with, called and offered to lower the price exactly $4,000. They had some how found out what my Dad's friend was planning to do for us. Oh yeah, we're getting this Pilot!!! Until... we found out that there was an oil leak. Dad was going to call it off if the problem couldn't be fixed. We all agreed that we weren't going to take anything that had a problem. We wanted it whole. So, Dad took it to the shop..... v`oila! It was fixed, stayed fixed, and.......... we got a new vehicle! We got this totally awesome Honda Pilot, that God just set in our lap! We gave the whole situation to Him, and He worked without any effort. It makes me think - maybe He was just waiting for us to let Him have it. Through those five years we have learned as a family to include God in everything we do - not just in our choice of a new vehicle. This is just one situation of many where God has answered our prayers. Maybe God's just waiting around for you to give Him a situation in your life so He can fix it. And he doesn't just want your faith in Him - He wants the whole, entire situation. Just sit back, be still, maybe even close your eyes, and let God move!
*Thanks to Mom for making sure I got all the information correct! (haha)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
One day that seed somehow breaks through
Across the mountains.
Go reach the world, touch one more soul
Don't let me pray, Lord, for wealth or fame.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
"Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright...Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise." Ps. 33:1 & 3
Doesn't say anything about piano in there, but it spoke to my heart, telling me to keep on going. Keep trying and have fun doing it! Why? Because it says to play skilfully, with a loud noise!!! Well, I had the loud part down, but skilfully? Oh yeah, aren't we supposed to give our best to God? I hadn't reached my full potential at that time, and I'm still improving on some things, but while sitting there, sulking about my sorry state, I could have been challenging myself to move up! When I read that verse, I thought, "Shame on you! get up there and practice!" So I did. And now, I won't lie (haha), I'm not that bad on the piano!
So I want to encourage y'all to give of your very best to the Master, and to put forth all your skill for His glory. Our potential is never complete - we'll never arrive, so keep giving and aim high! Don't wallow in self-pity, because it's a sorry state, and believe me - you'll regret it!
It doesn't matter whether it's piano, singing, archery, drawing, or another talent you may possess... even learning to talk to people. Give the Lord your best, and He'll bless you. What was my blessing? Enjoying every second! Now I'm working on the guitar...
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Another thing that's been going on is stories..... I've dreamed up so many good stories that would make excellent books..... I just can't seem to put them on paper. But I draw them out!!! There's probably close to 200 sheets of paper in the box under my bed, but hey! it keeps the stories coming, and helps to increase my drawing skills. Those stories would probably make better movies than books, now that I think of it. What I'm saying is I would be better at script-writing than book-writing!!! If only I could make everything fit together... Maybe there's just not enough thought put to a pen and paper when they're in my grasp. So I go from a busy activity-based girl, to a haze of summer, to a barrel trainer, to a wishful wanna-be writer. I hate to use the term "wanna-be" but a better word couldn't be thought of at the moment! There's more coming to my summer, and I maybe I'll have pictures next time!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Remember the text we started out with? Deuteronomy 23:9&14 "When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing...For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."
Well, hehe, I know I haven't posted on this series I started for at least 2 months, but.......... Have you kept yourselves from every wicked thing!? If you've come back from any lost battles lately, I hope you've returned with a resolve to conquer this weak flesh that envelopes our willing spirits. I hope you'll join me. Let's take a look at these verses -
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41
The same words are echoed here: "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38
So to avoid wickedness, what must we do, according to the Bible? Watch and pray. Be watchful and alert, because every time you feel that life is going smooth, the devil is just around the corner with a fiery dart. Pray - seek the Lord and his face. Seek his guidance and ask for protection. You will be in dangerous battles throughout this walk of faith, but that doesn't mean God can't put his Hand upon you to protect you from the enemy's blows. Also, notice that he says to watch and pray to avoid giving into temptation. A blow from the enemy that could always get some one is temptation. Something that looks so good - something we will desire. Like inappropriate TV shows or websites that our flesh can feed off of. But it will destroy us if we give in. And it will be very hard to fight temptation if we aren't watching and praying.
"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 16:25
This is a good verse to describe the way of temptation. We could follow the tempter's path, thinking it will lead to good fortune. Only to find the bitter end - death. Giving into temptation can be deadly. Alcohol or drugs, greed, intimate relationships outside of holy matrimony.... and we are supposed to be holy. Think of rebellion. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry..." 1Samuel 15:23. I am a stubborn person, and sometimes I act upon stubborn pride and plain self-ish-ness. It doesn't matter if your parents tell you to do the "dumb dishes" every day of your life, you need to do it with a willing heart and not a bitter or rebellious heart! Have you ever thought "One of these days, I'll get outta here and never have to do anything for them again!" That is wicked rebellion, my friend. Devastatingly wicked. Or maybe your parents won't let you date this awesome person.... so what? They love you - they don't make a pact to keep you in your room til you're 30 (and parents, don't ever joke about that around your kids - just a hint Ü ). Besides, if this awesome person is as awesome as you say and really does love you just sooooooooo much, they'll WAIT until you're allowed to see people. They'll wait for you. This brings to mind another verse!!!
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6
If you feel life is unfair, trust in the Lord and listen to him. Read his Word and don't listen to your heart. Yeah - don't listen to your heart. Wow, isn't that just totally opposite from what the movies tell us to do? And the books, and the famous people - the whole world, in fact? Do not trust your heart. Trust in the Lord. Obey his word and get rid of all the junk that's keeping you from being happy, healthy and holy. I know it's hard - I fought it for a while! Trusting your own heart sounds so wistful and good. I learned from harsh experience, friend, that it doesn't work out. OK, back to the point (I got pretty far from it, didn't I?) How can we beat our wicked flesh??? Here's the answer:
If we can't save our own souls from hell, what would make us think we can save ourselves from ourselves? "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9. WHO can know it? "...God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things." 1John 3:20. Isn't that just amazing??? But there's still a problem. God does know all things, but we still don't know how to beat our flesh - it's impossible....
"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
So it is possible after all!
There are battles to be fought, and battles to be won, but it won't happen if we aren't holy. It's not easy to be holy, but it is possible. We can beat our flesh - with God as our help.
"...God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Well, my hero is Jesus Christ!!! No hard thinking to do on that point. But I also have an earthly hero. It's my Dad. Do you know anyone who reminds you of a king? My Dad reminds me of a king. He's wise and humble, meek and understanding, but he also rules his home well and demands the respect due to him. Mom is his "queen" and my siblings and I are the princes/princesses - though we don't act exactly noble sometimes. And we "princesses" are NOT like the pink-on-everything, whiny, "Daddy please this" or "Daddy please that", spoiled little girls. My Dad teaches us to conduct ourselves with dignity and to hold ourselves to the highest standard possible - to God's standards.
My father is like the king in Proverbs 30 - against whom there is no rising up. When his mind is made up, it's final and no one's going to change it. When his children act disrespectfully towards him or any other adult, we get due punishment (of course, I'm just a little angel - it never happens to me.... watch, I'm probably speaking too soon. But anyway...). Y'all know the main reason why my Dad is my hero? He watches out for me and even when I think he's being unfair, he's really being too fair. He shows me the right path to take instead of letting me learn the hard way. Sometimes I hurt him and my Mom in the mistakes I make, but they never turn me away - they welcome me into the safe circle of their counsel. My Dad serves God with all his being and tries to be all he can be for God. My Dad's not perfect, he knows it, and I think that makes him even more of a humble person, and he gains the respect of others because of it. He hasn't always had my respect, though he's always deserved it, and I haven't always had all his trust - but God has a hand in every decision of his, and it keeps us safe and able as a whole family. I'm so glad my father listens to God and obeys Him - even when he may be afraid. My Dad's obedience to the Lord is such a wonderful example to me and my siblings. We've been through so much as a family, but he's kept trusting the Lord through all of it. And the Lord has blessed us all by showing my Dad more and more though the Word.
I just wanted to encourage y'all to pray for your fathers - the ruler of your home. Does God rule him and his heart? Does he protect you and listen to you? My Dad and I haven't always been close, but as we both grow in the Lord, we grow closer to each other. It's a blessing and it's vital in times like these. Pray for your father. Support him and encourage him. But most of all, pray for him.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
My brother and I are similar - we're both stubborn, we like to joke around, we love the country and can't stand the city (thank goodness we live in "town" and not a BIG bustling city), we like Celtic music, we both agree that Texas is the best state in America, and the best place in the world, we both love to be around friends and family in a big group and have a cook-out or fellowship at the church. But we have some differences, too - like he hates sandals (boots are his thing) and I like flip-flops, he can't wait to grow up and get out on his own but I could be content just staying with Mom and Dad for a few more years.... we have our differences. But we get along really well 98% of the time. The one thing I like a lot about our relationship is that we look out for each other. When a girl I don't like is flirting with my brother, she gets the boot - from me. And when a guy that my brother doesn't like flirts with me he gets the boot from Ian. Now, my brother is the quiet type, so when he speaks out like that, guys know he means business. I'm so grateful that we have that trust in our brother/sister relationship. We need to build trust-relationships with our siblings. If you're getting into any kind of relationship with someone outside your family, they could see things you can't, and know things you don't, just by being around the person for a few minutes. Or if you're framed for anything, they could bail you out. But best of all, girls, your brothers can protect you from guys who are not the best for you. And if you'll trust them, it will serve you well. You could do them a favour as well and make sure they don't fall for any silly, clamorous girls.
Girls, we are maidens - young, pure maidens. Don't let that be taken away because of your stubborn pride and unwillingness to listen to your brother's advice. Let them protect you, as well as your father. Build trust with one another, so that you can have some one to live with and learn from and have fun with while you're not married!!! It's definitely not a 21st century thought, but it is a good one!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The best message was the last message. Bro. Bill Marshall preached from 2 Samuel 23 about David's mighty men. Eleazar was a man who fought in a battle for the Lord until he was weary, and kept going! It was explained that he had been so "lost in the battle" that in the end, his hands clave unto his sword, and they had to pry his fingers away from it. Talk about battle severity! I can imagine him, eyes wide and focused on a battle that had already ended, (maybe ready for more?) and friends helping him relax on the blood-stained field. Bro. Marshall also talked about how the Lord won the battle, as it says in the Bible. Not Eleazar - God won!!! I realized that until I surrendered everything in my whole being to the Lord, I couldn't fight and win anything because the battle wouldn't be God's anyway. I hadn't released it to Him. So I grabbed a sweet lady from my church and she prayed with me and encouraged me.... I feel much better now. Ü When I asked the people who got saved how they felt, they gave me a relaxed smile and sighed, "Better!" One of them knew that he knew it all in his head, but he did not know for sure in his heart. You can know Jesus in your head and not have Him in your heart, y'all. I know who the President is, but I don't know him personally. Do you know Jesus personally, and not just know who He is? Do you know him as you personal Saviour? There's more to say, like the scenery was beautiful!!! It was cold aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllll week, though. Except for a couple warm afternoons! There are huge, gigantic rocks that I and my friends from church climbed on every day, and sat and talked while eating ice cream. Other times, we hiked, ran around camp, played basketball (while I just watched - haha), or sat and listened to a sermon. There's more things I'm gonna be sharing with y'all, but not now....
I still miss my cousins ...... :( But it's OK, I'll live (maybe) hehe! Yesterday we worked all day in our kitchen - painting. And today we'll do the same thing - paint. But then tonight my family and I are going to a BBQ with out church. It's soooooooooooo fun, I love get-togethers like that! There will be football, softball, FOOD and other things to do, plus fellowship... and that's the sweetest part of all!!!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Yes, happiness and sadness will come tomorrow. I've never understood how the heart can hold so much joy, but sadness at the same time. We've all felt these feelings before, and tomorrow, I'll feel it again........ My cousins from North Carolina (NC's still the South, ya'll - we discussed that yesterday) have been here since late Wednesday night and my family has spent Thursday and Friday with them, will probably spend tonight with them, and then they'll come to our church tomorrow. We have had the most AMAZING time! We haven't gotten to see eachother for maybe...... 3 or 4 years??? We've already become so close - all of us - and I'm sittin' back thanking God every single day for such wonderful cousins! There's 7 of them, and then me and my sibings make 4, so 11 altogther!!! We've bonded so much over the past 2 days, and then tomorrow afternoon, there will be a tearful, sad good-bye to all of them as I simultaneously, and happily, get on the church van with my brother to go to camp. I feel like they're our real brothers and sisters! All of them! They'll be leaving Tuesday, so me and my brother won't get to see them again until the next time they come. But it won't be too long - either later this year, or half of next summer!!!!! So, there's one other thing to be happy about!!!! Count your blessings, Erica... Trust me, I am. I have a million!!!! My cousin Aubrey and I are so similar! A few differences here and there, but we're very alike! She's younger than me and taller - 2 or 3 inches taller!!!! It makes me feel like an elf, I mean, her two older brothers are taller than me, but they're also younger than me! So, just a fill-in for the week that's coming - I won't be posting til I get back. Ü Please pray for their journey back to NC and me and my brother's journey to and from camp with our church. Thanks y'all!!
My piano recital was Thursday - and to be honest, I had a wonderful, almost enchanting expirience! For the first time, I did the prelude music, then turned the pages for my piano teacher playing the flute and this guy playing the guitar (no big deal turning pages, but it was my first time!), and then played my piece Romance by Lizst, then my piano teacher played the flute and I played piano to Nocturne by Lovland (there's words to it, but we decided to leave that out), and then another student of hers and I played Fantasy (a duet) by Timothy Brown. The whole thing was like magic. Normally, I hate recitals, but this time.....
...................til next week!!!!!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Memorial Day weekend!!!! And everybody's at the lake, or out of town.... except my family and some others... we went to church today. Ü Hallelujah!!! haha..... anyway...
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee." Deuteronomy 23:9 & 14
This post is gonna be (kinda) about the battle field and soldiers on it, but it's also about our spiritual battle field and us soldiers on it. If you've been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and you've been ransomed and freed from guilt, sin, death and hell, you are a soldier and whether you like it or not, you're on the battle field. The moment you asked Jesus to save you, you "signed up" to fight the invisible (and sometimes undetectable) battles of the soul. You will be fighting a battle for the rest of your life. Yep. But not to worry - the Lord will go before you, to fight for you. You just trust in Him and His strength and you'll win those battles. In Deuteronomy 23 it shows how God would have us behave in the battle camp. God says for us to keep ourselves from every wicked thing. So, in our camp, God wants us to have pure hearts, pure minds, totally separated from every wicked thing! It's hard to follow when it says every wicked thing. When you think of something that's wicked, you'll find just about every time that what God thinks is wicked is totally different from what you thought was wicked! There's no room for compromise when you are determined to live God's way. And if you don't live God's way, it tells you in verse 14 up there what will happen if you don't follow God's command. It says "...the Lord walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee..." God's ready to give your enemies over to you so you can win the battle! But think it out "...therefore shall thy camp be holy..." Holy? Yep. It's hard to be holy. Let me tell you, when you think of holiness - when I think of holiness - more than likely, you'll find that what we think is holy and what God thinks is holy are two different things. God knows more about holiness than we do. He's always had it. He IS holiness. We have not mastered it - will never master it - if we've even attempted to gain it at all. Yet God says to keep our camp holy. Keep your heart holy before the Lord. That is something that is going to be sooooooooooooooooo hard to do. I want to be holy before the Lord. My parents want to be holy before the Lord. Oh man, holiness is so beautiful! I've learned that being holy isn't boring or stuck-up or down-cast looking. It's free and pure! It's wonderful!!!! I'm praying so hard for God to help me be holy. I WANT him walking in the midst of my camp. Look at this: "...therefore shall thy camp be holy; that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee." When we are unclean and when we've turned away from God, maybe have some unconfessed sins that we're aware of, or have this sin that we just can't seem to let go of, God's not gonna fight for us, because we are at enmity with him. God wants your whole heart, ya'll. He wants everything - and he wants the battle! If you have some sin that you never knew was sin (just like we don't always understand wickedness or holiness the way God understands it), you need to ask him to reveal it to you so that you can get right and gain more power for the battle! Sin is like a burden before you're saved. When Jesus saves you, he washes all your sins away with his perfect blood. But when you discover something wrong in your heart that you never knew was there and you just refuse to get rid of it, it acts as a burden that you've given yourself, and it hinders you from fighting all those battles successfully. You'll tire out too quickly! You can't win the battle when God's not helping you, and he SAYS that if you have unconfessed sin in your life (uncleanness, wickedness, etc.) and you're not letting him take control, you won't have his help! It's like Jonah. (Read about him in the book of Jonah, in the Bible - haha) So, Jonah heard the call from God to go and tell a town called Nineveh about God's coming judgement for their evil works. Jonah didn't like the Ninevites, and he was afraid of them, so he ran away from God. The battle inside him raged and fought against his desire to obey God, and the fearful spirit took over. He deliberately disobeyed God, and God punished him for it. In the end, Jonah surrenders and he does go to the Ninevites and they ask God to forgive them, which God does forgive! But while Jonah was running before that, God allowed him to get thrown off a ship and swallowed by a gigantic fish. He stays there for three days and nights, praying to be delivered. He gave into the enemy in that first battle, and now he was in a worse scrape than he probably would have ever been in if he would have only obeyed the Lord! The Lord did deliver him from the fish's belly - he got thrown up onto the shore!!!! SICK!!!! Hey, that's what ya get for refusing to keep yourself from every wicked thing. Jonah let fear of the Ninevites control him. So, in this story, fear was a sin - a wicked thing. Yep. Something as simple as fear can be wicked. See how serious this is? What happened to trusting in the Lord and leaning not on thy own understanding? What happened to not being afraid of sudden fear? Keep yourselves from every wicked thing. Please. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anyone! But it's possible. Do you want to win the battles or not?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This is a wedding DRESS!!! The girl is spinning in this pic... so gorgeous!
(come on guys, you gotta admit this is cool!)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
"An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked."
A funny thought struck me - either way, we're all an abomination to something! You can be dishonest, vile and wicked, and be a corruptible sight to the righteous, but the righteous are abhorred by the wicked!!! And even though it struck me as funny, it's really a serious thing to ponder. These days, people trying to serve God and be good are disliked and trodden upon by the wicked and called "haters", while we that follow God sit back and are disgusted by the sins of the world. Abomination to abomination - I'd rather be an ugly, abominable thing in the wicked man's eyes than in God's!