Tough Dude(ettes)s

Somewhere between age 11 and 13, I became anti-girl.
Actually, it was more like anti-GIRLIE.
I was a TOTAL tomboy (and proud of it), I didn't want to wear anything pink, or basically anything pretty. I was VERY picky about what I wanted to wear 9my poor Mom...).
I kind of wished I was a boy.
Get your mind out of the gutter, it wasn't what you're thinking.
Why didn't I wanna be girlie?
Oh, I did, really, I just didn't think I did. And the desire to be pretty got stronger later on (turns out boys ARE good for something).
If you had asked me then I would have obnoxiously answered, "Cuz girls are WIMPS!!"
I later realized, that not all girls are wimps, and that I didn't have to be one either, and you can be cute AND tough.
That was basically it:
I wanted to be tough. I admired strength.
I read about Indians and people doing amazing survival type things and living totally independent of civilization!
Thought that was SO cool.
Still do.
Well, the fact of the matter is, God DID make us ladies as the WEAKER vessel.
No way around it.
Doesn't mean we are all weaklings.
Doesn't mean I have to be helpless.

Where was I going with all this?

Ah yes.
I admire strength.

Reading in Proverbs today, a verse triggered that whole train of thought:
Proverbs 16:32
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
So what that boils down to is Self-control = STRENGTH.
Not survival techniques.

So you (when I say that I mean I) can workout and have biceps and hunt and hike and be TOUGH.
But if you REALLY wanna be strong, work on your self-control.

And keep in mind that man is just a dirt-ball anyway, and ultimately, the LORD is the only REAL strength.
Talk about tough.....ever hear what he did on Calvary?



I really need to do these right away while they're fresh in my mind.

October 26 was a Friday.
We (my family) visited a church 45 minutes away because we knew of a preaching meeting going on there featuring (sounds weird to say featuring....it wasn't a production) Evangelist Sam Gipp, who is a family friend as well as an excellent preacher. I could listen to this guy all day.

The only problem is he's such a good story teller that I get so into it that I forget to write down what he's saying!

We'll do our best...
First he talked about radiators.
'Member those old clunky ones that take a year or two to warm up?
Now you've got these things that have motion detectors and only run when you come in the door, with lights and what not...Not how a radiator works.
Here's the thing. The radiator does just that. It radiates heat whether you're in the room or not.
But when you enter the room you are now in a position to recieve the heat.
Kind of like God's love. It's not becuase of anything you've done.
If that was the case, then, when you do something unlovable, He would stop loving you.
But his love is just like that radiator; it just keeps doing what it naturally does.
Now go back to the radiator. What if you could take the heat going in all the degrees of a sphere and focus it on one point?
Now you have a laser: a serious cutting tool.
And what if you took all of God's love and focused it on one point?
That's some serious love.
Now keep that in mind and imagine a scenario.
Say you've got an old friend you haven't seen in a long time and then one day you happen to run into him with a lady on his arm.
Insert typical dialogue, i.e. "Hey, how ya doin'" etc.
In the conversation he introduces the lady as his fiance and tells you they're getting married in three months.
Insert typical dialogue, i.e. "Congrats" etc.
Three months later you see the buddy again, and ask him how he likes married life.
"Oh," he responds, " I didn't get married. She just decided she didn't want to be tied down yetwith marriage.. She wanted to have a career and all that."
They call that jilted.
 A year or two later you see the same guy again with another lady on his arm.
 "This is my fiance! We're getting married next month. Now I'm glad the other one left because THIS is the right one!"

Later on you bump into a mutual friend of yours and ask him how the wedding went.
"Oh, you didn't hear? She left him for somebody else."
Man. Gotta feel for this guy.
Especially when you 6 months later you hear a repeat of the whole thing!
What's the problem?? He's just looking for someone to focus his love on someone. And he was jilted 3 times.

Now look at Genesis 2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

This is impressive!
All the rest of the universe was spoken into existence.
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
 He went and PLANTED a garden for man. Not spoke, planted. Didn't have to do that.
 God actually got down in the dirt and FORMED us!

And then he sent his only begotten Son for us dirtballs!
And there he had the focus of his love.
To show his love he:
Gave him the perfect environment.
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gave him a job.
Genesis 2:18-19 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Gave him a helpmeet.
Genesis 2:20-24 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Also gave him an eternal reign.
Adam is the son of God.
Luke 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
He had fellowship with him.
All this to show his love and what did Adam do in return?
1. Rejected his rule

When you tell a kid what not to do, what do they automatically want to do?
what are teenagers always complaining about?  too many rules.

When Adam rejected this rule he lost the throne he was gonna sit on
lost the fellowship

rejected God's plan
Rejected his fellowship

And then blamed all his problems on God!

Did God have this coming? We all know he didn't. he's perfect.
He did nothing to deserve this.
So it would understandable if he gave up and quit.
But he didn't. He decided to give it another try.

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
That's a lot of blessing!
So next he tried to focus his love on Abraham or Israel.
Gave them his blessing
Gave them his protection (know how we know that? they're still here. Miracle!)
Gave them his law (wrote the 10 commandments TO Israel. first time God communicated to man IN WRITING)
Gave them his prophets.
Gave them his written word. (Torah/ old testament) all for them. Specifically to that nation and no other.
Gave them a history of miracles. (Against All Odds- great documentary)
In return,
They rejected his rule (they had a theocracy, and they wanted a monarchy like everybody else).
Rejected his plan (Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh wanted tostay on the far side of the Jordan even though the Promised Land was in sight.)
Rejected his fellowship (they went to false gods)and gave the credit of his miracles to idols. This made them worse than the heathen.
And yet he was wiling to give it a third try:

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3. Whosoever will. He didn't pick anybody. Instead he said he'd focus it on anyone who wants it. Now all you have to do is choose it!
Gave us a future meant for someone else (your future is part of a divine plan B)
Gave us our own testament
Gave us a home in heaven
Gave US a chance to reign with him.
Gave us HIS SON.
And what are you doing in return, to show YOUR love for HIM?

All this time I was agreeing with everything he said, and enjoying listening to him with out ever applying anything to myself or realizing that I needed to.
God was/is being jilted three times. Does he deserve any of it? Of course not!!
Does he deserve to be treated the way I treat him?
Too "shy" to speak up for him. Or too proud...
Too lazy to spend much for him. If the day is 24 hours long, I don't even tithe when it comes to time, let alone sacrificial giving.
And I realized that I had a problem with self-righteousness.
That the good stuff I'm doing now for the Lord is so much LESS than he deserves.
I was suddenly struck with the immense debt I owe that I can never repay, and with the thought that I'm not even hardly trying.
Talk about a challenge...

Now I summarized the sermon to give you a basic idea, but if you would like to listen to the full audio sermon ( I highly recommend you do so) comment with your email and I'll send you the file.
Wait till you have a good hour and a half to sit down and listen.
And reflect.


Learning from the Devil

Sunday we had a guest speaker.
I dont know if you have heard of Kirby Campbell and what he's been through or not, but he has a ministry called Treasured Trials that is worth checking out.

Sunday night sermon:

Revelation 12:9-12 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

So first off, a warning...

Then, Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Wise as serpents? How is the Devil wise??
Well, he sure isn't dumb!
Bro campbell started going through the Bible looking for ways to learn from the Devil.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

So there is another warning...

 2 Corinthians 12:7-10  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Here the Lord used the Devil to keep Paul humble and draw him closer in his walk with the Lord...

Luke 22:31-32  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

And another warning...

Then, in Job we have the most recorded dialogue between God and Satan:

Job 1:6-12  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Here is Satan in the presence of the LORD. Turns out, he spends a lot of time there.

Revelation 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Day and night...
The Devil is constantly coming before God to accuse us.
Day and night...
1. The DEVIL spends more time in the presence of God than YOU.

Then look at the next chapter:
Job 2:1-7  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 
And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

2. The Devil doesn't stop!
As said before, the Devil is constanly coming before God to accuse us. Now, praise the LORD, we are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, so, every day, when the Devil says, "Look what they did," the LORD says, " I don't see anything but the blood of my Son."
But the Devil says "I'll be back tonight."
And on and on it goes.

What if your spouse proposed that both of you get up every morning at 6 and have one hour together where you spend time together and talk about your day till 7, and then you dont talk to each other at all for the rest of the day.
You might get a little upset with that!
A marriage needs constant communication and conversation to stay strong.
And so does your relationship with the LORD.
What if you were as persistent as the Devil in coming before the LORD?

3. Don't do what the Devil does int God's presence.
Job 1:10  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

All he does is complain to the LORD...
And what do YOU do in the presence of the LORD?
It's not wrong to ask the LORD for things, but the majority should be praising and thanking Him!

4. Even the Devil can move God when he is in his presence.
Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
How much more do you think WE can?? But are we even striving? Or is the Devil working harder than we are?

Eventually a recording will be available from the church's website, and when it is, I'll post a link to the page so you can listen to the actual sermon.


Almost a sermon idea

Judges 8:24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)
25And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.
26And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks. 
27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

I read this this morning and my train of thought led to an almost-sermon idea. Kind of.
What just happened in those verses was just like when Aaron used the Israelites' earrings to make the golden calf.
Except they were out-right rebelling against God in idolatry. THIS was more subtle.
Gideon didn't make an out-right IDOL, he made an ephod, which was part of what the high priest wore in the holiest parts of the temple.
It was important.
It was kind of like a part of church.
It seemed like a good thing
It was NOT a BAD thing per say
But Israel went a whoring after it, and it was a SNARE to Gideons house!
But Israel went a whoring after it, and it was a SNARE to Gideons house!
This was a lot more subtle than the golden calf, (and the devil the is master of subtle) AND it was right after a huge victory (one of your most vulnerable times).

Dont you think you could maybe build a sermon off that??
I just need a third point...

Well, the whole thing was initiated by some one GOD set up to lead Israel! What happened???
Gotta watch out....


blessed beyond measure

Dont know how much of a nugget this will be for y'all, but I struck a major gold vein!
Let's start with my relationship status.
The world would call me single, which I am, but I am totally occupied right now.
And not with a Son of Adam (Narnia term for human guy).
I got a new... perspective. Kind of.

Lets back even a little further.
I was at my last senior camp this August. On the way back to my cabin from chapel one night, I saw the head director and his wife hugging outside.
And I suddenly realized that I wanted that. Not just a relationship, but THE relationship. The one guy God wanted me to be with. And hearing the testimony about how the director and his wife met and got married, it was clear that it was of God. That's what I wanted.
And I just talked to the Lord right there, walking in the dark to my cabin.
"Lord, I want that! I'm willing to wait for it, but I want someone to spend the rest of my life with!"
At least I thought I did.
Naw, I still do.
But I thought I was ready for it. I thought I had matured since I gave up on a pointless crush.
A couple of weeks later I got a friend request on facebook from a guy on the other side of the country.
He found me through a mutual friend who is like an adopted Uncle. And he wanted to get to know me.
I said no, because I'm not allowed to be friends with guys (on facebook). Well, my parents later told me he went through my "Uncle" to ask Dad for permission to get to know me.
It KINDA freaked me out. A little.
All that to say this: I thought I was totally ready for something like that, and then when it was staring me in the face, I was creeped out! Some guy I've never even met tracked me down on fb and from what he knows of me on my profile and word from my "Uncle" and decided he wants permission to get to know me.
I'm a little paranoid.
And I dont have brothers, so it takes me a while to get comfortable with any given guy....
(Just so ya know, turned out the guy's not a stalker; he's a pretty nice guy.)
All THIS was to show that I realised I'm not really ready for what I thought I wanted.
But I still kinda wish I had a special someone to be with...
I've known for a while that I should be consumed with the Lord, until He says the time is right for me.
I was reminded of it reading this post by Miss Raquel, and it pushed me to make a comittment.
I had already  made a committment to spend more time (like, a LOT more) in my Bible. Not just because of the whole relationship thing, there has been other stuff going on for a while now that has potential to be discouraging.
So for the last couple weeks I've have been making it a major priority to SEEK the LORD and completely focus on HIM.
Just Him.
Oh man, He has been filling my cup.
Sometime soon I will sit down and get all the stuff on here that doesn't specifically apply to stuff I've been working on that are just blessings.
Because I quit thinking about all that so much, I've been strengthening my relationship with the Lord, and I'm starting to see what REALLY important, and just growing and learning things about God.
ANYWAY. Tonight at church SOMEthing the preacher said triggered a thought about something that the LORD had been doing for me, and I CANT REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS. But it made me want to tell you what a blessing it was to see the Lord working in my life, looking back, just at the last couple MONTHS. I think he said something and I understood and related to it better than I would have if I hadn't been digging deeper and pursueing a deeper relationship with the Lord.
But I think the point was to encourage you to REALLY dig deeper and make a committment to dedicate some more time to strengthening your relationship with him, and not care so much about all those distractions that dont really matter.
But know that unless you make finding that extra time a TOP priority it wont happen.

Oh, and also, one more thing.
This afternoon I was working, listening to a song called "The Judgement".
I'll see if I can find a video later, but for now, here are some of the lyrics:

(starts slow and in a minor key)
All is still, heaven is silent
As the mighty Judge ascends the throne
The book of Life is opened
As countless souls begin to groan
From the throne comes a voice like thunder
"Depart, I know you not
For the names written in this book
Are the souls my blood has bought"

Faces turn as into that courtroom
Comes the very seed of sin
He who was the saints accuser
Must face the charges against him.
With the fury of all the ages
That Demon's voice began to cry
"It's not fair! I almost had you
On Golgatha's hill I watched you die"

Then Satan begins to tremble
As his fate to him is known
From the throne comes the verdict
"The lake of fire will be your home"

(switches to worshipping in major key)
And I see every knee is bowing
Every hand in honor is raised.
Every voice to him is lifted
"Thou art worthy, the Lamb be praised"

Angels standing at attention
As the redeemed begin to sing
Heavens court resounds the anthem
"You are our Saviour, Lord and King."

Heavens court resounds the anthem
"You are our Saviour, Lord and King."
Thou are art worthy, thou art worthy
The Lamb be praised!

I was listening to it by a college group a little faster and with out the drums, but I hope this at least gives you an idea of what it's like:

Songs dont usually get me emotional, and I've listened to this one a million times, but when it came to the part about Satan trembling and then the Redeemed singing to the Saviour, I started crying with joy, knowing that we are on the winning side, and  eventually, evil WILL be defeated, we wont have to deal with the flesh and all the garbage in the world, and I'll finally be in the presence of the one who SAVED me!!
I was excited.
And then singing in church had a great spirit, ( I have heard and sung THOSE songs a million times too, and if you actually think about what you're singing, it's a sermon in itself!) and the preacher said something that lined up with what I've been learning, and I just got a huge blessing out of the whole thing!
God is SO good!
Don't take him for granted.



I've been trying lately (but not very hard) to read on Proverb a day for a solid month.
(You may have noticed that Proverbs has 31 chapters, one for each day of the month)
I haven't made it thus far.
There's always been something that happens to distract me and I forget for a day.
I'll be honest.
It's usually a passel of days, not just one.
I'm trying again this month.
Yesterday I decided to make a commitment.
I was thinking, see (I do this occasionally) that even if I DO make it this month and read a chapter everyday, there are probably going to be multiple days (maybe even a passel) when I just quick read a chapter so I can check it off my list, and I don't really dig into it, searching for what the Lord has for me.

So I added to my commitment:
I'm going to strive to dedicate one hour a day, preferably a consecutive hour, to reading my Bible, and while I'm at it, to work on my prayer life.
Yesterday was easy.
Today wasn't that hard either.
And I had plenty of stuff to write down.
But right now I have a very slow schedule, with not much at all going on.
And I need accountability to stick with it when my life isn't so slow and relaxing.
For when I actually have to get up early in order to have that consecutive hour.
Even if I didn't get the most sleep last night.

(I'm very fond of my sleep, you see)
So this is my record of commitment! Feel free to bug me and ask if I'm keeping up with it!!
Speaking of commitments...I need to post about my camp commitments!!



A LITTLE over-due...

I promise the lack posts is not due to the lack of being fed from the word. The Lord has given me blessing after blessing.
I've just been plain ol' busy. Granted, busy with very worth-while things, but busy none the less.

I just got back from my last year at teen camp, so I'm going to post a few of the messages that were such a blessing. These are only a select few, but all the sermons were fantastic!

Oh, and the theme this year was CROSS-training.

Morning chapel- Bro Dunlap

What is the cross? It's a statement. The end of something. It's devotion. It's healing.
To take up your cross takes training/practice.
(Cross)(training) : Fully useful, to be perfected.

1 Corinthians 9:24 
 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
To excercise in the Christian life- Bible reading and prayer

Acts 24:16 
 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
2 Timothy 2:3 
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Excercise takes some pain, but you need to get tough for God!

Hebrews 12:1 
 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Training requires patience, over time, on a daily basis. You have to die to the old man DAILY.

Galatians 5:7 
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Weight is what hinders you. Weight could be peer pressure,  earthly possessions, hobbies, etc.

1 Corinthians 9:22-27 
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Self control, dicipline, etc.

1 Corinthians 10:31
  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Speaks for itself. Are you a fanatic about God's Word?

2 Timothy 2:15 
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
This takes practice!

1 Timothy 4:8-11 
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 
 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
 These things command and teach.

1 Timothy 4:12 
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Dont let anyone have a reason to despise your youth! Be an example rarely seen today.

I'll do more eventually, hopefully soon! Next week I go to a second senior camp. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do there!



A verse Dad used in sunday school popped out at me. He was talking about Moses questioning God's wisdom and timing, with using him to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. He used Psalms 37:7 as a counter point, and I realized how much it applied to me.

Psalms 37:7 
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Here's your 3 point message wrapped up in one verse:
I. Rest in the Lord
II. Wait patiently
III. Fret not.
                                                All of which are easier said than done.

I. Rest in the Lord- We (I) get so caught up in life, and then wonder why I'm so stressed about everything.
I'm trying to rest in my own strength and ability, and it's not workin' out so well. If I could just remember to rest in the LORD...
II. Wait patiently- I'm not good at that part. Recently that's the one thing I have to keep reminding myself of. Pretty soon I won't be in school anymore, and I don't have a solid plan for what to do next. I REALLY like having a plan. Preferably ahead of time. BUT, I need to wait patiently until God shows me what HIS plan is. I also feel like I should have a back-up plan, just in case I don't know His plan by the time I graduate, which is MY preffered timing. How's that for faith...? 
III. Fret not- (there's a good song about that...the Marshall family sings it.)  I know this part is saying not to worry when the guy who's not doing right seems to be getting away with it, and that definetly applies to me, and is a reminder I need. But what if I just take those two words by themselves? Fret not: just don't.

Another reason I like this particular verse is because it tells me exactly  what to do and what not to do. Simple.
Clear cut.
I appreciate that.

Isaiah 40:31 
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Luke 12:24 
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

Proverbs 11:5  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

Commit thy way unto the Lord.
All you need He will afford.
Never fret and be oppressed.
Commit and Trust, Delight and Rest.

Fret not! He’s watching over you.
Fret not! The Lord will see you through.
Fret not! You’re sure to stand the test,
Commit and Trust, Delight and Rest.

Trust in Him, His Word is true.
He will do what’s right for you.
Praise the Name you have confessed.
Commit and Trust, Delight and Rest.

Let the Lord be your Delight.
Delight in Him both day and night.
You the host and He the Guest
Commit and Trust, Delight and Rest.

Rest in Him, wait patiently.
God knows all and He can see.
In His answer you’ll be blessed.
Commit and Trust, Delight and Rest


When you have time...listen!

Bro. Shemish preached at our missions conference last year. GOOD STUFF. Wait till you have time to pay attention, and then listen....(it would be good to click the link first)


I know you weren't expecting this, but: nuggets!

John 14:10
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myslef: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

I know that Jesus was the one speaking here, but shouldn't we be able to say the same thing? That the words and works seen in us are from the Father?

 John 15:10
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

John 15:13
Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:19
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 16: 21,22
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
And ye now therefore have sorrow,: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy shall no man take from you.

John 16:27
For the Father himself loveth you, because ye hath loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

And my favorite...

John 16:33
These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


What happened??

My Dad is the Youth Pastor at our church, and we have been doing a study in Exodus in Sunday School.
This week we started chapter 5, and he pointed something out that I've never noticed before:
Exodus 5:3
And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God;  lest he fall upon us with the pestilence or with the sword.

 Wait a minute. Is that what the Lord actually told them to say?
Exodus 4:22, 23
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (23) And I say unto thee, let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

No, that's not quite what the Lord told him to say. So Moses and Aaron altered the message!
And you know what the world is hearing today? An altered message.
Why is that? Why did they tweak what God said?
1)The fear of man.
2)To be accepted
3)To remove the negative
4)To weaken the truth

And how are things today? The same.
 Not just with the different Bible versions, but also with the churches and leaders. They are so worried (or afraid?) about being accepted that they are willing to remove the negative, and weaken the truth. So they don't preach about hell, they don't tell people they are sinners, they hide the "thou shalt not's".
So people end up in a hell they never even heard about.
On a sidenote, I wonder if things might have been different in Egypt if Pharaoh had been given the original message. Maybe not, since we know God hardened his heart. But it's interesting to think of the possibilities. If Pharaoh had known what was at stake right up front, maybe he wouldn't have been so stubborn. Maybe all the plagues wouldn't have been necessary.
Or maybe not. God did all those amazing catastrophies to show Egypt  (a type of the world) his might and his glory.

Exodus 14:4 
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.
 So I don't know. What I DO know, is that today having the true message is important. The Lord is glorified and honored through souls being saved, and THAT comes about through the message.
Romans 10:17 
 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


A warning and a promise

I try to read through the book of Proverbs once a month. You may have noticed there are 31 chapters: one for every day of the month.
When I started with chapter 1 this month, I noticed something I've never noticed before, even though I don't know HOW many times I've read Proverbs 1. As I read what Wisdom was saying, I realized that Jesus Christ could be saying the same thing.
Some parallels:

First off, what they both offer:
(vs. 22, 23)
 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

How the world responds :
(vs. 24, 25, 29, 30)
Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.
But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
...For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

Later, when the tables turn:
(vs. 26-28, 31)
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.

Those who DO heed the call:
vs. 33
But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.


who? me?

Tonight we had a missionary present his work. I had nursery duty, but I ended up working in the morning instead, so I was excited!
I was thinking, Sweet! I should get some good notes! Maybe I can do a bog post tonight!
Well, he didn't even really preach. He just had his presentation go for the duration of the service. And it was good, don't get me wrong!
He is excited and ready to get to work in Peru.
But by the time I realized the presentation would be too long for him to  preach preach, I was kinda disappointed. Then, at the conclusion he said, " If you don't remember anything else, remember this: 1, God uses regular people and 2, it is an HONOR to serve God.
Ok, so that's not awfully original....
It's true!
Who was David? A shepherd. Culturally, that's a pretty lowly occupation. Like, the youngest-in-a-big-family's job.
Who was the lad with the five loaves and two fishes? We don't even know his name...
How about the little servant girl who told Naaman about the prophet Elisha? Same story.
And the majority of the disciples? The people who were closest to the creator of the Universe? Fisherman. No offense, but they aren't exactly the most sophisticated folks in the world.

So it's true. The Bible shows it clearly. Just in case you had that as an excuse in the back of your mind for not being on fire for the Lord, pitch it.

Which brings me to my next spiel. Yep, you guys are gettin' a double whammie tonight.
LAST Sunday we had a guest preacher speak, and it was fantastic.
I wont give you the full outline. I'll skip the introduction (just kidding!)
He told about a young man who was called to witness to the Muslims of China. He went to Egypt for a while to learn and become accustomed to the culture. During that time, he contracted (some kind of very painful disease related to paralysis). He kept a journal, and in intervals, these points could be read:
No reserve.
A little later
No retreat.
No regrets.

Wow. To me, that speaks volumes.
That's takes commitment.
That takes dedication.
That's a lifestyle.

I had to question myself: Am I living that way? Do I have any reserve? Do I ever retreat? Will I have  regrets?
To live this way is a great aspiration, and yet, how can we consent to live any other way?? We're serving the Creator and Ruler of the universe here! Our purpose is to bring glory and praise to the one who left Heaven's throne to sacrifice himself on a shameful cross, to be separated from the heavenly Father!!
How CAN we live any other way?

Lord, give regular, old me the grace, give me the patience, give me the fortitude  to live with no reserve, no retreat, no regrets, for You. 
Because I may be regular, but my God is not.
PS. Please remember to pray for the Miller family, missionaries to the people of Peru.


The miracle of Pizza

Right after Christmas, our youth group had a winter retreat. We brought over Bro. Collom from Meridian, Idaho for our speaker, and he did a fanatstic job. Copy and pasted below is a part of a post from my other blog that I wrote based off the notes I took for the sermon that dealt with me the most.

Exodus 16:1-4, 31
 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
So compare manna to pizza. What if, one morning, you woke up and looked out your window and saw a pizza sitting on your front lawn. So you went to check it out, and you noticed that your neighbors had a pizza on their front lawn. In fact, everyone on your street had a pizza! Think how amazing that would be! And what if EVERY morning there was a pizza on your front yard! That would be a miracle!
Numbers 21:5
 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
They loathed the manna?? Why? It was a miracle! How can you LOATH a miracle?
Exodus 16:35
 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
Well, they HAD been eating it for 40 years (He gave this list of all the things they might have made out of manna : mannacotti, manna burgers, mannaroni etc.) You would probably get tired of pizza after one year of nothing but, let alone 40. So the miracle got old.
Think of what you got for Christmas this year. Now something you got last year. And something from the year before that. How about three years ago? Four years ago? Now when you first got that favorite gift four years ago, you used it all the time. You thought it was the best thing ever. You used it everyday. Is that still the way you feel about?
How about your first job? Remember when you were always excited to go to work? And your first pay check? It was awesome- at first.
So how does a miracle become loathed? Well, it's a transition. There are five steps:
Miracle becomes routine, then you become unthankful for the routine, which leads to being discontent. You then think that the the thing you are discontent is keeping you from something better, so you get to where you loathe it.

Church = miracle (Remember when you were little and you LOVED going to church? He gave the example of his two kids who are nine and six)
 Parents = miracle

 A prophet is not without honor save in his own house...
Honor thy father and thy mother...
Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft...

Satan's greatest masterpiece is to drive you away from the people who can help you

Having grown up in church I know just how easy it is for church to become routine. This was really a great warning to watch myself so I don't become unthankful and discontent till I loathe this amazing miracle God has blessed me with. And not just with church, but with parents and even my salvation. Anyway, I hope you were able to get the gist of what he was talking about.
On the last morning, right before we all left he said if you can just maintain a spirit of thankfulness, your life will be much sweeter, even if its not smooth.


Leviticus 15

I wonder how many people would read that title and think "Oh no...Leviticus...what can we possibly learn from that? We're free from the law, right?"
Well, yes. We are.
But there is obviously something in there for us, otherwise God wouldn't have included it in his Word. And I don't claim to know all of everything you can learn from this part of the Bible, but this morning I noticed something that may or may not be applicable.
And it's not in this chapter only. This is just one of the chapters talking about what qualifies as unclean, how long a person is unclean, what they do to be clean, and all the things that they use are unclean.
No offense, Lord, but bring on the coffee.
And then it talked about how if someone touches anything made unclean by the unclean person, they will be unclean too.
Lev. 15:10 And whosoever toucheth anything that was under him shall be unclean until even;...
"Ok, so where are you going with all this?"
Well, I was thinking, ok, how can I apply this to my life? CAN I apply this to my life? I've been making an effort to ask that question more often in my Bible reading, instead of just cruising along and waiting for something to smack me in the face.
So, with that mind-set, I thought:
Well, I live in the world.
John 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the
world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

It's a very unclean place.
So sometimes (being human and all) I get dirty. I know I can't lose my salvation, But since I'm in the flesh, and this fleshy (dirty) world. So it's stands to reason that I get dirty, that I become unclean.
And guess what.
According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
And see why God had them do it then:
Leviticus 15:31  Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.

So since I'm the temple now, maybe I should be purifying myself, when I come in from the dirty world.
Just get rid of all the filth I was exposed to all day.
But how exactly would I do that?

Well, I wanna get my mind off the world and on my Saviour.

Sounds like a classic case of prayer and Bible reading.
So many problems we as Christians deal with can be fixed, or at least helped, with this simple practice.
And that brings me to another subject. Kind of. Really, they're both related.
Bible reading and prayer. I have a hard time keeping them consistent.
I know if I don't do it first thing in the morning, I WON'T end up getting to it sometime during the day. I've tried convincing myself that I will get it to it, but I never do. Or if I DO, it's not really REAL quiet time and I'm not focused because, I have all these things going on.
My flesh REALLY doesn't like getting up extra early if it doesn't ABSOLUTELY have to.
So this is one are going to college has benefited me in: I have to get up at the same time everyday.
And even if I try to sleep in, there's my brain clock waking me up at 6:00 on Saturday, adhering to the rigorous training I put it through.
And it makes sense that you would give the first part of your day to the Lord.

Going back to the "unclean" idea, what do you do when you first get up every morning?
You shower, brush your teeth, and get yourself ready for the day.
Because you got dirty yesterday. You need to clean up.
So it is with your Christian walk. You were out in the yucky world. Chances are, if you walk through a pigsty, you'll get dirty.
So take your shower, wake yourself up, and devote some time to cleaning your mind with God's Word.
By no means did I exhaust the benefits of consistent Bible reading and prayer, but trust me, it's worth a few yawns!


The case of the missing comfort zone...

The following account is my testimony of what God taught me last summer. I went to Papua New Guinea to visit my aunt and Uncle who are missionaries there. This doesnt really include all the fun details, but the main thing God used the trip to teach me.

      I was kind of hoping for a big vision or revelation or something where God would show me his plan for my life. And I didn't get one. I didn't even hear an audible voice. So much for my spiritual missions trip.
      I did learn some stuff that I will be better for (is that grammatically correct?). For example: I have been in church my whole life. In fact, I've been in a good church. And I've heard all the Bible stories about faith and trust and I know all the Bible quiz questions. I have a fair amount of head knowledge. But I've never really had peace about anything. Besides my salvation, that is. I have no doubt or question in my mind about where I will spend eternity. I have complete peace about that since I am relying on Jesus Christ and His righteousness to get me to heaven. But I've never been in any real life situations where I had to put that faith and trust stuff to use.
Guess what happened. On the way over, (I'm gonna give you my itinerary now, so you can skip ahead) I flew (with Jeannie Johnson, who is AWESOME by the way) from Seattle to LA, and from there to Melbourne,Australia. That was the long flight. And it was a little bit delayed. So with that, and taking forever to get our bags, and a long line in customs, we missed our next flight, which would have taken us to Cairns, where we would get picked up and taken to a place with beds. The unthinkable, horrible thing that never happens to a good traveler (in my head, anyway) happened to us. Great. Now what are we supposed to do? The trip's as good as ruined. We might as well turn around and go home. I managed to keep this all in my head however, and pretended it was as cool as Jeannie's. She just popped over to the desk guy under our airline logo and calmly announced we missed our flight. And click, click, click, we get seats on a flight that leaves in a couple hours at no extra cost.
Phew! OK, every body, life can go on! Earth, you can start spinning again. It was a nice little warm up for the next day. Hey, I handled it pretty well. Little bump in the road, no big deal. Maybe the Lord was protecting us from something and we needed to be delayed. See, that time, it was fixed so quickly I didn't have time to get too freaked out. The next day we flew from Cairns to Port Moresby: the gateway of PNG. To go anywhere in PNG you have to start there. This was supposed to be (and it probably was) the most dangerous part of the trip. We landed around eight or so. That was a long day. We got a shuttle from the airport to a hotel cafe and ate lunch there. We got picked up at twelve-thirty, got checked in and waited for our flight to Wewak (where Joey and Amy were) to board at three. And guess what. Right when we were supposed to board, some guy who apparently worked at the airport (he had on a reflective vest, after all) announced that our flight was cancelled. OK, that stinks, but hey, I can handle that. Its not the first time it's happened. Rescheduled for five? Oh, well. It's just gonna make my day a little longer than I wanted.
Wait, WHAT?!
Five AM???? As in TOMORROW???!!?! No, no, no, no, I need to get to Wewak TODAY.
We were directed to the customer service desk where we would be taken care of. I started picturing flea invested cots in some PNG excuse for a hotel. I wondered if it would be worse to get fleas, or spend the night in the terminal on those plastic chairs.
Actually, we ended up getting put up in one of the nicest hotels I have ever been in. Like, classy. BUT I did not know that yet. I didn't find out till about six p.m. or so. I went and got our luggage (met a guy who was born there, was raised in New York and is now a missionary there. In PNG, not New York) and by the time I got back, Jeannie was about  quarter way through a line that spanned almost half the terminal. Come to think of it, that's not very long. But it still took about two hours till we got up to the customer service window, and another half hour after we gave them our information before we got our vouchers. That gave me plenty of time to freak out. And believe me, while I managed to maintain my composure on the outside, inside, I was doing just that. At one point when Amy called to check and see if we were OK, I almost started bawling. Once we got on the shuttle to the fancy hotel, I started breathing again. But while I was waiting in that stuffy, stinky (apparently deodorant isn't a big deal over there) building on the other side of the world, I got a taste of how unsaved people must feel a lot. Sure, I prayed and asked the Lord to take care of things. And he did. But I wasn't used to having to consciously rely on the Lord, and I forgot to ask him to help me not be scared while I waited. So I was scared. As we flew out the next morning and I wrote everything down in my journal, I realized I was in a situation like that. So I didn't do too well on my first "test of faith". But now I know what faith really is. Now it's more than that thing I hear about all the time at church. It's something I have to exercise. It's something on the list of stuff I have to work at.
      Man, that list is getting long.
However. I got to practice again later, and it went a little better. Back here at home, there were some things going on with a friend that I was really worried about. And once again, I had absolutely no control over it. Finally I realized it was pointless for me to sit there brooding over it, so I got on my knees and gave it to the Lord. I told him I was tired of worrying about it and I didn't know what to do anyway, so would he please take care of it and help my friend be alright. And help me stop brooding.
Guess what.
He did.
AND, he gave me a peace about it. I've never had that before. It was pretty awesome. I want him to do it some more. So I also got peace about not knowing what my life plans are.
 I'm just waiting.



First off, the purpose of this blog is not necessarily to entertain, but to edify.
I want to share whatever I can dig out of my daily Bible reading, the preaching I hear, and any other edifying sources.
If I present questions I have, I want people to comment and add their ideas of a possible answer, as long as it is based and backed up with scripture.
Aaaaand that's about it.
It's not very complicated.