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04-29-02
Unexpected Preparation

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 
    Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wiveswhen they see your respectful and pure conduct."

1 Peter 2:21-3:2 (ESV)

This evening I was reading in Biblical Womanhood in the Home and I came to the chapter on submission. The lady who wrote that chapter (Bunny Williams) said that the essence of submission is faith, patience and trusting God. As I read about it, I saw so many parallels to the things God has been teaching me in this season. It was so exciting and encouraging to me as I realized that all God has been teaching me really is a preparation for marriage! Of course, I know that is so, but I was still a little surprised by some of the correlations I read about. 

She spoke of how we submit to our husbands even when we do not agree with them, because we have faith in God and trust that God can make "crooked paths straight" and that he will work through our gracious submission instead of when we get in His way by resisting leadership. Though we may not be able to see the light in our husband's leading at times (for all are human and will fail), we wait with patient faith to see how God uses it. We keep entrusting ourselves to the Father, just as Jesus did. 

I am glad to be able to see more of how I will be able to apply what God has been teaching me now, then. Yet again, another reason for me to be a diligent student of God's lessons!

04-26-02
Abounding Grace

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency
in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."
2 Corinthians 9:8

"I give thanks to my God always for you because of the
grace
of God that was given you in Christ Jesus"
1 Corinthians 1:4

This week I found out that God has been drawing one of my friends closer to Him, in the very way that I have been praying. It was neat how it happened, because I had not spoken to my friend about it, which is unsual because I don't normally hesitate.  This time God kept placing a check on my Spirit, so I didn't say anything to her and only prayed. Recently when I talked to her she eagerly told me what God had been doing in her life - how exciting!!!!  I think it is awesome to see the way that God draws and changes us. His hand is surely upon each of our lives!
 
And I continue to feel his grace upon me personally.  Praise the Lord for his goodness!

04-23-02
God's Ways

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!"
Romans 11:33

This has been a wonderful week, thus far, as God has been showering me with his ever-abundant grace. At care group on Sunday night, the Lord blessed me through the encouragement of the others there, and inparticular with a vision one of the ladies had for me. As I was thinking about this, I remembered how exactly six months before I had asked for prayer regarding the very same thing, and likewise somebody had a word of knowledge and vision for me from the Lord - but God's answer was so different! I won't go into detail about it, only to say that this time my eyes filled with tears of joy instead of sorrow.
 
The best part, however, is the way God is revealing to me an aspect of his wisdom. The Lord has shown me how I have been willing to settle for things that have been less than best because of my impatience, but He wants to give me so much more than I myself sought for, if I only wait for his perfect timing. He has been unfolding everything and changing the difficulties into blessings the hindrances into benefits.  What a gracious Lord I serve!!

04-19-02 to 04-21-02
Its Full Effect

"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."
Exodus 14:13-14

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfecet and complete, lacking in nothing."
James 1:2-4

I began writing this on Friday, but wasn't able to complete it until today:
 
I see how the Christian walk is a daily battle, because I am finding (as I have found before) that I am needing to re-apply truths that I knew well before. Not that I really forgot them, but they slip away at times. Grr!
 
Yesterday's grace doesn't count for today, and yesterday's knowledge doesn't count for today's obedience. Yet again I head back the roots to re-search and re-apply what is lacking. "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord...you have only to be silent" It is rather hard to stand when I want to run. *sigh*  Not just to stand, but to quit my fearful, "what-if" thoughts. Not to quiver and tremble, but to stand firmly. And to stand in silence?! Each day I must conquer the temptation not to take things in to my own hands instead of letting God work!
 
Furthermore, I want to get the trials over with instead of letting steadfastness have its full effect. God has other plans, apparently. When he has made me complete - lacking nothing - in the ways he desires through this, then he will deliver. Meanwhile, I need to keep standing firmly. - Thank the Lord for grace to do it!!!
 
I want to add that God doesn't call everyone to stand. At times he also calls us to be bold, take risks, and push forwards. It is just as wrong for somebody whom God has instructed to push forward to stand still, as it is for someone he has instructed to stand still to push foward. What is he calling you to today?

04-18-02
Enough is enough!

The Diet
I know most of you won't get this, but I hope some of you do!

04-17-02
Hola!

I am still here.   And I have been reflecting on things, just not things that I want to share with the whole world.  Right now one of the books I am reading is called Biblical Womanhood in the Home. It is edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and includes chapters written by several different woman. Maybe when I am done I'll write a "book report." (Yes, that was random.)
 
In my last entry I said that I would write a testimony, which I did. Click here if you haven't read it already.

04-12-02
Forgetful Israel

I'd love it if you would sign my guestbook if you haven't already (feel free to select the private entry option). I can tell I have more visitors than I have signed it and I like to know who comes.  The guestbook is located at the bottom of the main page.
 
I have been going through some of my old writing and journaling; I hope you don't mind if I post another peice from last year. Tomorrow I am going to write a testimony of how God has changed my life over these years, so check back!

Do Not Forget! ~ Remembering Israel
written in 2001
 
Even in the dessert God provides blessings. He gave the Israelites water from the rock, he showered them with manna every day, he gave them quail (haha and then he killed them! ), and for the most part he protected them. You and I have our daily manna. We have all we need, though not all we crave. Let us not forget God's blessings to us in the past. I've been reading and thinking a lot about Israel lately, and over and over again the Bible tells us that "they forgot". They forgot all that God had done for them. They kept putting him to the test. "You'll do this for me or else you don't love me." Hmm...sound familiar? I know I can feel that way at times. So lately God has been ringing the words in my mind "they forgot". I don't want to forget God's faithfulness to me in the past, and all his good works for me. That is what I tried to do this morning. To remember the blessings he has bestowed upon me time and time again, and to thank him for them and praise him. And ya know, even if we are in a season where it is hard to find the extra blessings, shouldn't it be enough that we are not captive slaves anymore, but that we are free?!?! God freed the Israelites from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt, but we have been freed from slavery to sin and condemnation. Hallelujah!! If nothing else, let us not forget that good work of the Lord for us!

Israel could never be satisfied because they were always forgetting God's faithfulness and goodness to them. They kept putting him to the test because they demanded he reveal his love to them how they desired. They didn't realize that the greatest gift had been given to them - freedom. They were not grateful for the gifts God gave them on the way...the water, the manna, the quail.

Let us not forget! What are our blessings that we have not thanked God for? What gifts has he given us that we have already forgotten or taken for granted?

04-11-02
The Cherry Tree

Today I wanted to share something that I wrote around this time last year. Just as the flowers on the cherry tree were dying and giving place to leaves when I wrote it, so they are now. :)

The Cherry Tree: Death Brings Life
 
As I sit here looking out my window on this cool spring day, I observe the cherry tree who is in transition from blossoms to leaves. I have watched it in many seasons as its bare branches gave way to little buds which grew until the whole tree was clothed in a splendor of pink. But the blossoms did not last. Before too long they turned brown and one by one fluttered away in the breeze. Their death, however, brought new life. Tender green leaves shot forth, and with time the brown drab gave way to green majesty. Yet the leaves, too, stayed only for a season. Like the delicate pink flowers before it they lost their color and died...swept away by the autumn wind. Again the tree stood bare and unclothed, its skeleton exposed to the harsh winter climate. And the cycle began again. But death always preceded life. The barren branches before blossoms, the brown and sickly petals before fresh leaves, and the dying leaves before the cycle could restart. In the same way, we must die little deaths so that new and beautiful life can come. If we only saw the tree when it was brown or bare, what hope would we have? But we know what is to come as a result, therefore we have a hope and look forward to the new growth. It must be with us also. Death will come, but we will have faith and hope knowing that new and beautiful life will result, being transformed from glory to glory.

04-09-02
A Day At CP...
(in case you're curious)

8:50 - With my latte to start the morning I pull out of the driveway. When I reach the first red light I attempt to tilt the cup back and stick my finger in to test it so I don't scald my mouth. Oops! Hot latte spills all over my lap!! (How many times have I done this?!?!) The rest of the day I walk around with my purse in front to try to hide the spots. Hehe. :)
 
9:25 - Plop down in my seat to begin Communication 110 class. After discussing our upcoming project the professor let's us out early to begin researching at the library. (I walk over with my purse in front of me, of course.)
 
10:45 - Time to head to Psychology class so I can study for the test.
 
11:00 - Psychology test begins!! I think I did very well. Yay!
 
11:30 - Finished test and decide to study for my First Aid test on a bench by the lounge. Got tired of the bugs biting me (and the guys nearby) so I hike to the library for more studying and research.
 
12:10 - Head to First Aid class and munch on a snack I brought. Do a little more cramming before test. It seemed to go well, but with this professor I never know until I get my results back.
 
1:45 - Class ends, and I reluctantly go back the library for the third time today. I went up to the fourth floor, the highest up I've gone so far - it is huge!
 
2:45 - After searching lots of magazines for the articles I needed I waddle over to the parking lot. Time to leave!

04-07-02
*sigh*

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,"
Proverbs 13:12

That about sums it.

04-06-02
Arranged Marriages

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church." (Ephes. 5:25)

"the Lord set his love on you and chose you" (Deut. 7:7)

Arranged marriages - just the thought of it turns my stomach.  Seriously though, I have been thinking about it this week. When I was younger I remember my dad talking about maybe arranging a marriage for me...but even then it did not appeal to my already developing sentimental, romantic side. Fortunately, he is aware I am not interested in that.
 
When discussing this with some friends, one of them brought up a good point: Christ set his love upon the church and then he chose her. Christ chose his bride...and isn't marriage mod'eled after this relationship? Shouldn't the man choose his bride as well - and choose the one whom he loves?! God did not choose his bride, then start loving her. He loved her and chose her. And the church loves Christ as she has been wooed with his amazing love...this is why she responded.
 
Also, is it really possible for the love spoken of in Songs of Solomon to have spontaneously combusted on their wedding day? That beautiful story must have been in the making long before the ceremony.
 
I am not saying that an arranged marriage is doomed. Perhaps God would speak to a family and children that this is how he would like them to do it. God can use anything wants! He has taken couples who lived in immorality and used their bad for good and eventually to have a God-honoring marriage. (I realize that is a little extreme example.)
 
There are other reasons, too, why I don't agree with arranged marriage. But in the end it is mostly because I don't think it mod'els the example of Christ loving, choosing, and pursuing the church as his bride.
 
(I guess it is obvious now that I seek to think things through for myself!)

04-04-02
Praise Report!!

I wanted to share a report of God's loving kindness. :) Some of you know that I get headaches and migraines regularly - headaches about every other day and a migraine about every other week. (Quite miserable, especially when the nausia kicks in and my prescription doesn't work! ;) ) But ever sense I got glasses a few weeks ago I have had no migraines and only a very few, minor headaches!!!!!!! This is a huge, huge blessing to me! :D These headaches, and especially the migraines, have interfered with my life and forced me to take a lot more pills than I'd prefer. However, God has healed me or used the glasses to help me. Praise his name! :D I can't say how wonderful it is not to have this anymore. :D But I think I am going to get contacts in the near future.

PS Like the smilies?!

04-01-02
Our Divine Sustenance

Isaiah 55 

  "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
    and he who has no money,
        come, buy and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
        without money and without price. 
    Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
        and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
    Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
        and delight yourselves in rich food. 
    Incline your ear, and come to me;
        hear, that your soul may live;
    and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
        my steadfast, sure love for David. 
    Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
        a leader and commander for the peoples. 
   Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
        and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
    because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
        for he has glorified you. 
    Seek the Lord while he may be found;
        call upon him while he is near; 
    let the wicked forsake his way,
        and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
    let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
        and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
        neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
        so are my ways higher than your ways
        and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
   For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
        and do not return there but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout,
        giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 
   so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
        it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
        and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 
   For you shall go out in joy
        and be led forth in peace;
    the mountains and the hills before you
        shall break forth into singing,
        and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
   Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
        instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
    and it shall make a name for the Lord,
        an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

Wow!!! If that does not inspire us to seek the Lord, than what possibly could?! I love to read that chapter when I need extra motivation and a reminder of why daily seeking the Bread of Life is so important.