Saturday, October 31, 2009

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!

Stay in touch for updates on my...

17th century England story! :-)

Happy Reformation Day!

"Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason-- I do no accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other-- my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." -Martin Luther

I tried to download the YouTube video clip from the 2003 film Luther, that contains Luther's speech at the Diet of Worms. So I will post the link to it instead. I highly encourage you to head over there and check it out. It really is stirring. Click here to watch.


The following text is from Answers in Genesis.

The 5 Solas of the Reformation

Though widely known a generation ago, the five solas are frequently overlooked in the modern church. Each is a Latin phrase. When taken together, they summarize the teaching of the Reformation. They stress the positive aspect of the truth and how the medieval church distorted the truth.

Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone)

This sola expresses the conviction that all teaching of the church for doctrine and practice must be built upon that which is revealed in Scripture or deduced by good and necessary consequence from the Scripture. So the Word of God is the supreme and final authority. It alone has the power to bind the conscience.

Sola gratia (Grace alone)

Salvation comes by the free grace of God. Man cannot—and need not—do any work to earn God’s favor. Salvation is not based in any way upon human merit.

Solus Christus (Christ alone)

Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Thus an individual can go directly to God through Christ.

Sola fide (Faith alone)

Faith in the Person of Christ is the instrumental means of salvation. The Roman Catholic Church taught that, while initial grace was infused at baptism, the person had to cooperate with that grace until God accepted him as righteous.

Soli Deo Gloria (for God’s glory alone)

Salvation is exclusively God’s work, and so He alone is worthy to receive praise and thanksgiving. This sola expresses the highest motive for all the Christian’s deeds—the glory of God alone.


Let us praise God for the light of His Word!

"The entrance of Thy words giveth light..." (Psalm 119:130)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Allow Me To Drool a Little...

While looking for an idea of what the house in my England story might look like, I came across pictures of this absolutely GORGEOUS house in Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Kingston Bagpuize. The name is derived from the original name of the village it is near (Kingston) and the name a Norman nobleman named Ralph-de-Bagpuis. The house is so beautiful; I would love to visit there if I ever go to England. :-)

Get a load of that humongous staircase!!!!

I could not get the pictures any larger than you see them here, as I got them off of the website.

Enjoy! :-D

When you look at pictures like this, you cannot deny that a someone took the time to lay out the pattern, to make the bricks, to build the walls, to guild the windows, to make and arrange the furniture....

It reminds me to God's perfect creativity and design. All we see, the birds, the leaves, the grass, the flowers... He made them. And He made us... with a very particular purpose!

"For we are His workmanship (as Kingston Bagpuize was someone's workmanship!), created in Christ Jesus unto good works,which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10)

We serve a wonderful God! May we fulfill the purpose for which He created us, through the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A beautiful love story...



This year I am going to attempt to write for NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. Just a rough draft, but a novel nonetheless. Look on my sidebar for the link to my profile. My username is "tara_byrne". According to Facebook, that is my "Irish name"; I doubt there is any basis for that, but I thought it was pretty so, behold, that is my username! ;-)

I'm not 100% yet which of my name story ideas I am going to use. Following are the ideas I will probably choose from:

Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States has declared war. American men are leaving behind their parents, siblings, wives, fiancees, and children to defend their country overseas. Among those left behind are Pastor and Mrs. James Stirling, and their five children. It is particularly hard for their eldest, Helen, who, at twenty-three, had been expecting a "happily ever after" to her engagement to Dick Harris. Now separated by thousands of miles and who knows how many years, Helen must help her family fight the war at home, as well as fight the war inside her own heart as she strives to trust God and do His will. Can Helen trust Dick to God and reach out to the needs of others despite the struggles in her own heart? Will Dick ever come home?


Ann Williams never knew her father, and barely remembers her mother. Raised in a strict Anglican home by an icy, status-obsessed, unloving grandmother, Ann longs for something beyond the walls of Abercromby Park... for the truth about her father's death... for the truth about God that so many people seem in conflict over. Now that she has reached the age of matrimony, Ann discovers that her grandmother is determined to marry her off to a self-satisfied, unfeeling, very rich baron, Lord Barrymore, because of his high position in the House of Lords and because of his support of the king, Charles I. About the same time, she meets a quiet but interesting merchant named Polydore Tyler. Does he have the answers to her questions about her father as well as about eternal life? Can Ann make the right decision despite fear of her grandmother's displeasure? Can she find peace in a world that is crashing down in religious and political turmoil?


Seven years ago, Kami was in love with a young man named Jim. But then Jim's busybody family started telling stories about Kami's father that led to the breakup of Kami's family and the suicide of her father. Kami and her younger sister lived together for several years after that... But now her sister has died of a sudden, unprecedented seizure and Jim all of a sudden returns! Kami doesn't know that she can trust him-- or any Christians, for that matter. Aren't Christians just people who say they are "saved" and use that as an excuse to do whatever they want? Is Jim really sincere in His love for God... and for her? Can she lay aside the doubts and bitterness that she has stored in her heart against God, and allow him to heal her life and give her hope and a spirit of forgiveness?

I am posting a poll on the sidebar for you to tell me what you think I should write. There's also the comments section. ;-) I'm sort of leaning towards the England story after writing that description.... but we'll see. :-)

Eric Liddell

Eric Henry Liddell was born in Tientsin, China, on January 16, 1902, to Scottish missionaries James and Mary Liddell. He lived there with them in China until he was six years old, when his parents enrolled him and his brother Robert (then age 8) at Eltham College of Blackheath, England, a boarding school for missionaries' children. His parents left them there and returned to China with his younger sister, Jenny.

While at Eltham, and later at Edinburgh University, where he went for a BSc in Pure Science, Eric became noted for his athletic skill and sportsmanship. People began to hale him as a potential Olympic winner.

Eric trained for Olympic running and chose to run the 100-meter dash in the Paris Olympics of 1924. When he found out they would be run on a Sunday, he chose to run the 400-meter dash instead, as he believed the Sunday was a day dedicated to his Lord. People didn't think he would win the 400-meter, but he pulled out at five meters ahead of the silver-medalist and beat the world record at 47.6 seconds. Eric was an Olympic hero.

After his Olympic victory, Eric surprised the world by going to China as a missionary in 1925. There he taught at the Anglo-Chinese college for wealthy Chinese students, using his athletic experience to train in sports. He was also Sunday School Superintendent at his father's church, Union Church, there in China. In 1934, Eric married Florence Mackenzie, the daughter of Canadian missionaries who were working in China. There they had two daughters, Patricia and Heather.

But things weren't going altogether smoothly. As World War II began to terrorize the Pacific Rim, Eric began to realize that his family would be safer back in Canada with Florence's relatives in Toronto. So Flo and the children sailed to Canada while Eric stayed behind, with hopes that they would be reunited after the war's end. Not long after they left, Eric received the news that his third daughter, Maureen, had been born.

In 1943, Eric and many other Americans and Brits were taken to Weihsien, a Japanese Interment Camp, or, prison camp. There he took up teaching and leading at the camp, and became a godly and revered example for many of the young people there. But soon people began to notice that he was getting more easily tired and was complaining of headaches. On February 22, 1945, Eric went home to be with the Lord as a result of a tumor that was killing his brain. At his funeral, the Salvation Army band played his favorite hymn, Finlandia (“Be Still My Soul”). The runner had finished his dash through life, and was at rest and at home with Lord.

Many people remember Eric for his athletic reputation. However, the young people that he taught and befriended at Weihsien remembered him for his deep love for the Lord and his godly influence. They remembered him not only teaching on the Sermon on the Mount and the Love Chapter (1 Corinthians 13), but also living it out in his daily life. Eric ran his race through life well, and the message of his life still touches us today.

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,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...” Hebrews 12:1,2

This article was originally featured in the March/April 2007 issue of the Tuckleberry Times.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I enjoyed this last poll! Here are the results:

2 voted for Amy Carmichael
3 voted for Eric Liddell
3 voted for J. O. Fraser
1 voted for Gladys Aylward
2 voted for Jim Elliot
1 voted for Darlene Deibler Rose

The reason why I didn't state the answers sooner is because I wanted to include an article about each person, but don't have one for Amy Carmichael.. but then I decided I don't have to go in order, so.... Keep an eye out for a short bio about Eric Liddell tomorrow!

And keep your eye out for a new poll! Then let me know what you vote. It's fun. ;-)

Encouraging Quote...

Just what I needed.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Moss for the Master's Feet

"What did it matter if we were noughts? It was for the Lord our God to write the figure to head that row of noughts. He Himself was the Figure. And we saw our calling, how that we were truly of no account ("like a shell disinhabited") that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Nothing anyone thought of us could reach lower down that that, no one could ever count us less than we were. But he that is down need fear no fall. He that is down cannot get between God and His glory. And we knew then that there was nothing that He could not do through us if only we were nothing.

It was then that a prayer came that we have often used since in our Fellowship life,

Oh, we're too high, Lord Jesus, we implore Thee,
Make of us something like the low green moss
That vaunteth not, a quiet thing before Thee,
Cool for Thy feet, sore wounded on the Cross.

And it was then, too, that those fathomless words became our very own: "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and tings which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.' "

-Amy Carmichael, Gold Cord, pages 60-61 (italics from the text)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Lifelong Friend is Being "Discontinued"!?!?!?

I remember the day she first entered my life… I was almost seven years old. My aunt had come out for Christmas, and as usual, the holiday was filled with anticipation. Beneath the decorated tree in the corner of the living room were numerous “packages, boxes, and bags”, each exciting wonder and interest in me. When no one was looking, I would crawl under that tree and feel some of the packages to see if I could guess what was in them.

There were two boxes in particular that drew me. They were equal in size—about 20½” by 8”. One was addressed to me. The other was addressed to Amanda. What could be in them? I had only to wait for Christmas Day to find out.

It came with the usual Christmas excitement and long waiting that Christmas mornings always seem to bring in books—and I always viewed my life as a book. Amanda and I hurried out of our beds as soon as we woke up and ran to see what we had in our stockings. Daddy Clause had been there during the night. We found a fun assortment of goodies—Riesens, a toothbrush, a TY beanie baby, and some other things. We had to wait a little while longer before we could find out what was under the tree.

Once we finally had everyone gathered, we began to open gifts… and as usual, the most intriguing was saved until last. In my usual fashion, I tore off the green wrapping paper, and to my delight, saw the emblem written on the white box: The American Girl Collection. With a gasp of rapture, I ripped off the tape that held the box closed and lifted the top. There, sleeping comfortable with her mouth parted slightly and her long, dark lashes brushing her cheeks, was the doll of my dreams—Kirsten. Her smooth blonde hair was braided on either side of her part and looped up just like I had seen in the catalogue, and she wore her lovely blue sprigged dress. And there was the first book in her series, and a separate box of her accessories! What thrill!

Mommy told me not to take her braids out—she knew what would happen when I did. When I finally got permission, the inevitable happened… poor Kirsten’s hair became quite the rats nest. I only have gotten it tamed in the last couple years, though I think the damage is irreparable—she has some very frazzled ends.

Oh the fun we had, Amanda and I, with Kirsten and Felicity! I remember going to Campobello with our cousins, and purposefully driving my cousins crazy with Kirsten’s voice. One of my clearest memories of our childhood friend Megan was playing dolls with her—she had Samantha—and when the boys would come bother us, we would start undressing our dolls to get them to go away. (Terrible, I know!) Grama bought me a new outfit for Kirsten every birthday and Christmas, so I have almost the whole collection. I stopped collecting only a couple years ago, but I must say, it’s been hard to give up dolls. Kirsten still sits on my bed, and I dress her and do her hair now and then.

With all this said, you can imagine my dismay when I received a copy of the October 2009 American Girl catalogue and read the terrible words:


WHAT!?!?!?! Silly as it may sound, I was nearly devastated. Discontinue Kirsten, as they discontinued Samantha? Whatever for? (They haven’t even made her movie yet! :-( ) I have always loved Kirsten, not only because she was my doll, but also because of her stories—the exciting pioneer spirit has always enraptured me. And now to discontinue her—little girls like I once was will not be able to have the enjoyment I had in her. Poor Kirsten. I would really like to know why American Girl is discontinuing some of their beloved characters.


American Girl has been an important part of my growing-up. But I am very disappointed to see some of the decisions they have been making. Also, I have come to see that while they have great stories, in their desire to help girls solve life’s problems and such, they do not offer Biblical solutions to life’s problems. Instead they offer a philosophy that says, “Follow your inner star.” (Whatever that means!) One of my dreams—perhaps it is a wild one—is to create something like American Girl, but Christ-centered, so that children will have godly “friends” (book characters and dolls) who will help them to want to honor Christ. Mission City Press has made some of those available in their Elsie, Millie, Violet, Laylie, and Kathleen books and dolls, but they have recently shut their doors and discontinued all their characters. :-) So maybe one day the Lord will allow me to reach out to children and give them a mix of what American Girl and A Life of Faith have given me. We’ll see where he leads! I know how to write the stories, but how to have dolls made, and how to sell them, I have no idea! :-)

By the way, I am not saying farewell to Kirsten! She’s a-stayin’ on my bed! :-) And my little friends who don’t get a Kirsten on time are welcome to come and play with her. :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Update on Denise

Thank you all so much for your prayers for Denise!

Denise was put on dialysis which has helped bring her numbers up, so things are looking a little better for her, and there has been some improvement, but she is still not out of the woods yet, and things could change quickly. So please do continue to pray for her.

Most importantly: My mom talked to my aunt (Denise's step-mom) yesterday, and we learned that it is doubtful whether Denise actually knows the Lord. Of course, we cannot know that; only the Lord does. But please do keep her especially in your prayers, that the Lord would bring her out of this illness that He might bring her unto-- or closer to-- Himself.

Thank you all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'd like to ask you guys to pray for my step-cousin, Denise. (She is my aunt's husband's daughter from a first marriage.) She is dying from H1N1 (swine flu) which developed from pneumonia. She is on life support now; the doctors have done all they could for her.

But God is more powerful than all the technology man can come up with. Will you all please pray that the Lord would show Himself strong, and, if it is His will, that He will heal Denise in a miraculous way so that people will see His glory and know His power? And that if He chooses to take her to Himself, that He would comfort and strengthen Uncle Everett and Aunt Golda and the rest of the family. As most of you know, my aunt (and my mom) lost her mom, both grandmas, and her sister's sister-in-law within the last couple years; this must be really hard for her.

I have never met Denise, but she is my cousin and I am asking you girls to unite in prayer for her and for her family!

Thanks so much! <3

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

O.A.I. Syndrome

O.A.I. Syndrome:
Over Active Imagination Syndrome

Definition: a disposition in which one daydreams and concentrates on their thoughts so much that they transport her into a different world, and she becomes prone to nervousness, emotion, and culture shock when brought back

Okay, so maybe that was overworded, but so it seems. I am a severe culprit; it takes its toll on me daily. Just curious as to how many of my friends here suffer from the same syndrom. Allow me to share a few examples of my own O.A.I.

One of the best examples is found in this post.

Another happened just the other month. We were driving to a fire station some 45-50 minutes away for a charity dinner, and to pass the time, I was looking at Reminisce magazines. The tales of days gone wrapped their cords around me and held me back in the world of Victory gardens, bobbed and curled hair, wearing hats and gloves to church, and driving in antique models of cars. Then we arrived at the fire station, and as I walked in, I had this wave of culture shock, like I had stepped forward 60 years into the future! People bustled around me in jeans, fire station T-shirts, and cellphones. I felt ever so out-of-place. Some little Boy Scouts were serving the food, and I felt like they were a little more in place with my world, in their brown Boy Scout outfits and their freckled faces.
Very strange.

Another example is the time I was planning for a story about two brothers at the beginning of World War II in Europe-- one was actually adopted, and a Jew, and the other was very politically active in trying to hinder the Nazi movement. I had planned that in the end one of the brothers died, and I thought so much about it that I got depressed.


So tell me whether you have O.A.I. Syndrome! I'd love to know I'm not the only strange one out there. Any crazy stories like mine? :-P

P.S. I like to tell kids that my superpower is time travel. ;-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let Him Deny Himself ...and Go to the Chopping Block Daily

"And [Jesus] said to them all,
'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow me.'"

A thought occurred to me yesterday as I was reading this verse in the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus said this before he died on the cross so the disciples weren't thinking of His sacrifice and death when He said it. Their thoughts probably turned to terrible scenes they had seen and horrible stories they had heard, of people writhing in agony as they died for some terrible crime. "Taking up one's cross" probably did not strike them as a beautiful and poetic image. It probably struck them the same way it would strike us if our pastor said, "Deny yourself and slip your neck into the noose." Or, "Deny yourself and put your head on the chopping block." Or, "Deny yourself and walk into a Nazi concentration camp."

Jesus was talking about death-- death to self. And it is not always an easy death. It is often very hard to say "no" to our own wants and "yes" to God's desires and other's needs. It is often hard to resist the devil. It is hard to give up things we hold dear for something far greater (for what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?)

How strong my flesh, how weak my will, how lacking my love for God and others! I could probably list 15 to 30 times (or more!) that I have gone my own way today, in specific instances, rather than God's-- whether it be in my thoughts, attitudes, or actions. O Lord, set my affections on things above and my heart on doing Your will. Let me be willing to die-- not necessarily in some grand martyrdom way that will inspire people to write lengthy and numerous novels about all my great feats-- no, let me die that daily death, the hourly death, even moment by moment... and live unto You.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

-Amy Carmichael, Gold Cord

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Convicting Words

Note: I heard the following song on the amazing Christian film, "Fireproof", and as the words I heard were so amazingly true, I asked my friend, Toria, for the rest of the lyrics. While the beat in the song may be a little too heavy for some, the words are no-fluff, Biblical, and convicting! It is mainly written for dads and families, but can be very applicable to every Christian. Think about these words.

Slow Fade
by Mark Hall, Casting Crowns

Be careful little eyes what you see;
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings.
Be careful little feet where you go,
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow.

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away;
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray.
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away.
People never crumble in a day.
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade.

Be careful little ears what you hear;
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near.
Be careful little lips what you say,
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray.


The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking.
Be careful if you think you stand;
You just might be sinking.


"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23)

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

P.S. Sorry about the font sizes; I was having a hard time getting them the way I wanted them. :-S

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hell's Best Kept Secret

Recently the Lord began to impress me with the great need to share the Gospel with the lost. When He put an opportunity to witness right on my lap (via my laptop!), I realized I needed to know how to witness, where to start, what to say. The Lord led me to pick up my sister's copy of an amazing book, Hell's Best Kept Secret, written by Ray Comfort, evangelist, author, and host of the award-winning TV show, The Way of the Master.

In the preface, the author presents his reason for this book. Many people do not hear the Gospel because Christians are bound by fear of rejection or fear of saying the wrong thing. In addition, many people think they are saved because they have been reached by a false Gospel under the name of Christianity. The purpose of Hell's Best Kept Secret is to break away from the present-day, faulty evangelistic fads and to return to "the way of the Master", the way that Jesus and Peter and Paul evangelized in the Bible. Ray also desires to give answers to frustrated Christians who are unsure of how to witness, and to inspire them to go forward for Christ's kingdom with fresh zeal.

Ray begins explaining the errors in modern-day "evangelism". Instead of giving a Gospel that calls people to repentance and surrender to God, people today advocate a man-centered Gospel. They say things like, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!" "Jesus will make you happy!" The Gospel becomes "a ticket out of hell" and allows people to continue to do whatever they wish with their lives. In most of the great evangelical campaigns, quite often less than 20% of the people who have professed salvation have stayed true and shown fruit of salvation. What has gone wrong? Is the Gospel less powerful today than it was in the days of Paul?

By no means! Ray Comfort reveals the major element missing in the popular Gospel presentation today: the Law. He explains, by Scripture and through colorful illustrations, that unless a person realizes their spiritual destitution and their need for God, they cannot experience true salvation.

Scripture sheds light on the function of the Law. The Law can never save anyone, and yet it is needful for a person to see their need for salvation. The Law (1) convicts of sin (Acts 24:24-25), (2) produces understanding (Hosea 4:6, Matthew 13:23), (3) builds faith (Romans 1:17, (4) exposes sin (Romans 7:7-8), (5) prepares the sinner to receive Christ (Luke 19:1-10), and (6) is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Drawing from Christ's encounter with the "Rich Young Ruler", Ray presents the principle of using the 10 Commandments in witnesses to convict the sinner of his sin and of his need for God. Based off of the account of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, he presents for principles to remember while witnessing to someone: (1) Relate (finding common interest, beginning a conversation), (2) Create (swing to a discussion of the Gospel), (3) Convict (help the person to see his need for God), and (4) Reveal (share with them how their sin can be forgiven and how they can have a personal relationship with God.)

In addition, the author answers questions such as, When and where should I engage in a spiritual conversation? How do I begin a spiritual conversation? When do I begin to talk about Jesus? How do I know a person has truly been saved? What do I say when a person has prayed for salvation? Can I be a witness for Christ? He also includes an eight-page appendix of additional frequently asked questions regarding witnessing, and answers to those questions.

This book was a great blessing and encouragement to me, as well as a huge motivator for me in sharing the Gospel. As well as helping me to know how to share Christ with others, it filled me with a fresh realization of my own sinfulness and a renewed appreciation and awe for the wonderful work Christ has done in me. After reading Hell's Best Kept Secret, I hope that I am now better equipped to take part in God's purpose for all believers: to disciple the nations. I highly recommend this book to those of you who desire to serve Christ with confidence and wisdom.

Hell's Best Kept Secret is copyrighted 1989 by Whitaker House and can be found at your local bookstore or at Living Waters. In addition, audio lessons, articles, and videos by Ray Comfort and his co-host Kirk Cameron regarding witnessing/evangelism can be found at The Way of the Master's website.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Poll!

This new poll should be a little more edifying than the last, and definitely tougher. (Or so I think, because I am having a hard time choosing my answer myself!!) (I mean, a REALLY hard time!! :-P)

Can't wait to hear who you vote for! Have fun trying to decide between SIX amazing options!! :-D

Morning Questions

The following is a list that Eric Liddell put together for thoughts to set your mind on Christ at the beginning of the day. I've been looking around for the notebook where I had written them and finally found it yesterday. So now I am posting them here, certain that they will encourage you as they have encouraged me. :-)

1. Have I surrendered this new day to God, and will I seek and obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout its hours?

2. What have I specially to thank God for this morning?

3. Is there any sin in my life for which I should seek Christ's forgiveness and cleansing? Is there any apology or restitution to make?

4. For whom does God want me to pray this morning?

5. What bearing does this morning's Bible passage have on my life, and what does he want me to do with it?

6. What does God want me to do today and how does He want me to do it?

-From Manual for Christian Discipleship by Eric Liddell

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Poll Results

I think I did not give enough time for my poll! Oh well! Now to share the results, as well as a quote by or about the person being mentioned. :-)

Fitzwilliam Darcy: Unbelievable! This, the man that everyone adores, and only one person voted for him!

"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." -Mr. Darcy to Lizzie

"We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of m
an; but this would be nothing, if you really like him." -Mr. Bennett to Lizzie

Edward Ferrars: Poor Edward, no one voted for him.

"I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him-- that I greatly esteem him-- that I like him." -Elinor about Edward

"My behavior at Norland was very wrong, but I convinced myself that you felt only friendship for me, and that it was my heart alone that I was risking. I h
ave come here with no expectations only to profess now that I am at liberty to do so; that my heart is-- and always will be-- yours." -Edward to Elinor (in the 1995 movie)

Christopher Brandon: Two votes for Colonel Brandon! It was hard to find the right quote because Emma Thompson did much to develop his character in the 1995 movie version of Sense and Sensibility. He is a man whose actions speak what is in his heart, rather than his words. So I just posted a picture from one of my favorite parts in the film. :-)

Edmund Bertram: No votes for Edmund either! Too bad, because I do like him despite his faults. :-P

"To me, the sound of Mr. Bertram is so cold and nothing-meaning, so entirely without warmth or character! It just stands for a gentleman, and that's all. But there is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown; of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections." -Fanny about Edmund

George Knightly: Ahhhh!! Who doesn't love Mr. Knightly? He's nearly everyone's ideal. He received three votes from very enthusiastic Emmas. :-)

"I must, I will,—I will tell you truths while I can; satisfied with proving myself your friend by very faithful counsel, and trusting that you will some time or other do me greater justice than you can do now." -Mr. Knightly to Emma

"I cannot make speeches, Emma: If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more." -Mr. Knightly to Emma

Henry Tilney: Two votes for Henry (one of them being mine)! I'm ever so curious, who else voted for him? I love Henry because he's so real; he has Knightly's good sense with the addition of a great sense of humor!

"It was no effort to Catherine to believe that Henry Tilney could never be wrong. His manner might sometimes surprise, but his meaning must always be just: and what she did not understand, she was almost as ready to admire, as what she did." -Jane Austen, chapter 14

Frederick Wentworth: No votes for him either! Understandable, because it is annoying when he flirts with the other girls when he is really in love with Anne. :-S But he is a cool character nonetheless, and his proposal has got to be the best! :-D

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you." -Wentworth in a letter to Anne

Disclaimer: Just because I posted a picture of Tilney from the 2007 movie edition of Northanger Abbey does not mean that I have watched it or promote it. My mom previewed it and I guess the screenwriter added some questionable elements to it... so I suggest you read the book and fall in love with Henry that way. ;-) (All the other films represented in these pictures I enjoy very much! :-) )

Friday, October 2, 2009

God is Good!

Yesterday I posted Psalm 46, one of my favorite psalms as it reminds me to rest in the character and promises of God. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted..."
"God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble."

When I think refuge, I think of a place where one can hide-- from a storm, from a battle... perhaps someone hiding from an enemy in an inner chamber of an old castle or monastery. God has granted us to be able to "hide" in Him-- He provides shelter and protection in the storms of life. When the storms of trial or temptation break over you, you can flee to Him to hide you. He is so good!

When I think strength, I think of a soldier in battle, growing weary, perhaps, or unable to stand against an enemy so much stronger than himself. We are in a battle. There is an enemy stronger than ourselves, and sometimes we feel like we have been fighting so long and so hard, and that we cannot go on anymore. That is when we must acknowledge our weakness to God and go to HIM for our strength. He is the God who created and sustains the world by the world of His power. He is stronger than our strongest foe. We can trust Him!

"A very present help" can also we translated, "a well-proved help." God is both! For one thing, He is always present to help us. To those who follow Him, He has said "I will never leave you nor forsake you." He is also well-proved. When has He ever broken His word? When has He ever failed to keep His promises? The question is rhetorical; the answer is "never". Day by day, God continues to prove to us His love, His mercy, His justice, His patience, His greatness, His power, and His faithfulness. Therefore, we can go to Him and trust Him in times of trouble!

This week He has proved again that He is the help of those who seek Him.

Perhaps you have heard of the earthquake in the South Pacific, and of the predicted tsunamis. When Mommy told me about them, we were concerned for our many missionary friends in the area of Fiji and American Samoa. We have been praying for their safety in the face of these impending dangers.

This morning, we got an update from Scott and Katie, who are missionaries in American Samoa.

Dear Praying Friends,

I am sure that most of you have heard that American Samoa and
Samoa experienced an earthquake at 6:45 a.m. local time. Fifteen minutes
later a tsunami struck parts of the islands. We only felt the
earthquake where we live. We live in the middle of the island and
farther inland. Several other spots were totally devastated. Boats
were taken out of the water and placed on the land. Cars were left in
the sides of buildings. Houses and buildings were flattened. Some
areas were only flooded, while some had 15-20 foot waves hit them. All
of our church members are okay, but everyone seems to know someone
either killed or injured by the tsunami. Thank you to everyone who has
inquired about our safety. We know that it could of been much worse.
Please continue to pray for the people here, especially those who have
lost loved ones and lost everything they owned. We keep on reminding
the people of God's goodness and grace to help in time of need.

Serving our Lord,

Scot and Katie Daku

Isn't God good? He is our refuge, our strength, an ever-present, well-proved help in times of trouble. We can trust Him!

"Be still and know that I am God." Know that He is in control, guiding the events of life for His glory and our good. "The Lord our hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
There is a river,
the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:
he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.