Sunday, December 23, 2012

"I won't be labeled as average"

What happens to this world?

As I was reading Rachel's Tears - a book written by Rachel Joy Scott's parents featuring excerpts from her journals - Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
History repeats itself.

The question is legitimate. The answer is simple. It's only the consequence of what we have done.
But what have we done?
Just think about it!

The world asks why God lets this happen.
Good question.
Dear world, you know.. you are so immature and irresponsible! Why do you want to blame God for your own mistakes?

Let me help you out:
Do you remember the interview everyone talked about several years ago?

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11).
Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school .... the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. The school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued (there's a big difference between disciplining, touching, beating, smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc.).. And we said OK.
Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents.. And we said OK.
Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said OK.
Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. Agreeing with them, we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.
Then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said OK.
And then someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then further again by making them available on the Internet. And we said OK, they're entitled to free speech.
Then the entertainment industry said, let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. Let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in!
http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/

Columbine flower
Rachel Joy was a teenage girl just a couple of years older than me. But she had strong faith and she stood up for what she believed. She lost her friends, was ridiculed and killed - because of her beliefs.
What's this if not persecution? Modern day's persecution...
Her desire was to know God and be used by Him. And she was. Her life, her testimony and sacrifice touched many young lives. She sometimes struggeled but she knew what to do. It's nothing new, but a great reminder to all of us committed Christians.

Do not ever forget TO WALK THE TALK!

And as Christmas is drawing near, I ask you to pray for those families who lost their loved ones in the school massacre last week.

God bless you all.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

I felt like reading.
I didn't know what to read. Anything could have done.
I guess God had something in mind when I chose Though None Go With Me.
According to IMDB the movie was shot 2006 and if I'm not mistaken it wasn't much later when I watched it on Hallmark Channel. I can still remember the sentence Brad Rowe (playing Ben Phillips) said. It's no big deal, if you write it down in your Bible considering it as your own truth:

Though none go with me
Still I will follow
No turning back
No turning back

But what is my truth now?
This is a new situation in my life, living on my own, working full time - you could say - for the first time. Trying to be an accepted woman and still be humbled and obedient to God. 
I was so busy with myself: earning degree, running household, getting to know new people at work, and so tired at the end of the day... that my only wish was just to get into bed. I rarely made phone calls and I rarely got some.
I talked myself into lies... that I wasn't loved, I didn't have friends, that God forsook me... 
I was on my own, but the truth is, because I was the one, who forsook everyone - including God. 
Several months passed until I realized this. 

While I was reading this book, Satan attacked me mercilessly. 
The movie gives the impression of a fairy tale compared to Jerry B. Jenkins' novel. 
It's a spiritual challenge to turn your life over to God. But this requieres sacrifice: to renounce your dreams and desires - a self-denial. It means to accept whatever God's chosen for me. And I'm often afraid of this unknown. 
God's ways are higher than ours. We don't have to understand everything but we can accept those by faith. 
If I want to walk closer to God, I only have to ask Him. But from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48).

While reading about Elizabeth LeRoy's spiritual journey I felt so negative. Satan was playing his favorite game: deceiving. Devoting one's life can't be compared with Christ's death on the cross.
God doesn't promise an easy life, but Paul says: But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (Phil 3:7-11).

I want to "dust my list and hang it on the wall" so everyone may see, Who the love of my life and my #1 is.
Romans 12:1 reads Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. The only problem with a living sacrifice is that it's coming off the altar and walks away. You have to offer yourself every day anew!

The proposal.

The farewell.

God had a purpose when He reminded me of my own decision. There's no turning back. I promised to follow. It's good to be back where I belong: in the loving arms of the Father.  
May this be my Christmas present to Him!

***

I was pondering on the secrets and reliability of the heart.

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
(Psalm 37:4-7)

David's words, these promises are precious. But what do they mean?
Jeremiah wrote that the heart is deceitful (above all things). 
What are the desires of my heart? It's clear God doesn't give us whatever we desire, so either we are not truly delighting ourselves in Him, or He doesn't give those which were harmful. Or does He give those too to prove He is God and He has the power to give those? To lead me closer to Him?
What if there's something I desire... but this isn't a part of His plan for my life... Does He give this to me despite? And do I want it at any cost? 
Or do I misinterpret the whole phrase? Does He tell me what the desires of my heart should be? In other words: Delighting myself in Him means He will give me what to desire? I mean, the same passage says: commit your way to Him, trust in Him, be still and wait patiently for Him...That's the hardest. Waiting for years... (which is like a day or even shorter... for Him.)
No news is good news. No news is not a straight "no". It means I have to wait... Patience is something I'm still learning. 

And so it comes full circle. 
"The most important and most difficult spiritual test is the challenge of turning our lives over to God. Though no decision can be more fulfilling. Inevitably something will happen that will make us realize that our own power isn't enough to get us through the especially difficult times. Our personal power is limited. But God's power is infinite. All it is required is one simple prayer: not my will Lord, but Yours. Why are we so afraid of turning our lives over to a greater will? Why do we seek guidance yet fear what that guidance will say to us? Because it means that we have to say to God that I accept whatever it is that You have chosen for me. And I trust that You will give me the strength to deal with it. There is an old hymn that says it far better than I can: Though none go with me / Still I will follow / No turning back / No turning back."


Watch the full movie. Right here right now!

Elizabeth and Ben dancing. Then and now. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I loved...

... having my sister here.
We talked a lot and she asked me various questions.
She also wanted to watch a movie every night, so I showed her mostly Christian films (or PG rated ones). She seemed to be interested and I could share the Gospel with her. But she’s hesitating… and I’m praying.

Friday, December 7, 2012

When a movie scene becomes reality...

Are you familiar with Anne of Green Gables?
Do you remember Matthew Cuthbert going to Lawson's Mercantile not exactly with the intention to buy 20 pounds of brown sugar and a rake? You might need a little refreshment...

Alice Lawson: Well, Mr. Cuthbert, what can I do for you today?
Matthew: Well, now, uh... I'd like, uh... Have you got any, uh... Do you have any garden rakes?
Alice Lawson: Now, we don't carry garden rakes in the store in December, but I'll check upstairs. We may have one or two in storage. [leaves; returns] The very last one.
Matthew: Oh, that's nice.
Alice Lawson: Will there be anything else, Mr. Cuthbert?
Matthew: Well, since you suggested, uh... I might want to look at some hayseed.
Alice Lawson: Oh, we don't carry hayseed till spring, Mr. Cuthbert.
Matthew: Oh, certainly. Of course.
Alice Lawson: That'll be 75 cents for the rake, Mr. Cuthbert.
Matthew: Uh, while I'm here, uh... I might want to look at, uh... If it wouldn't be too much trouble, uh...
Alice Lawson: Yes...
Matthew: Sugar.
Alice Lawson: Sugar?
Matthew: Some sugar.
Alice Lawson: Oh, white or brown?
Matthew: Well, uh... What would you say?
Alice Lawson: Well, we have some nice brown sugar in stock, Mr. Cuthbert. How much would you like?
Matthew: Well... Would twenty pounds be enough?
Alice Lawson: Yes, I'm sure twenty pounds would be enough. That'll be $1.
Matthew: [whispering] I need a dress. With puffed sleeves.
Alice Lawson: Puffed sleeves?
Matthew: For Anne.
Alice Lawson: For land's sake, Mr. Cuthbert, why didn't you say so in the first place? Now, you just come with me to the window.

So I was just asking, because the other day when I was on my way home from work, a middle aged woman got on the tram and sat across me. She had her hands full...
She carried a 20 pounds-bag of grass seed and a rake. I instantly remembered and I couldn't help but laugh.