Friday, January 29, 2010
Dear praying friends,
Greetings from the Fiji Islands! This week, the church in Rotuma is being built and the boys' dormitory at the Master's Use Baptist Institute is being built as well. We are thrilled that all the red tape and preparations were finally conquered and completed so these buildings could go up for God's glory.
However, the powers of darkness are not celebrating these victories. In fact, we are experiencing some big spiritual battles within our ministry just this week. Four of our families are facing major problems. We ask that you join us in fervent prayer over the next four days that Satan will be defeated in these situations and that God will give us the victory. We will be meeting with two of the families again over the weekend to try to show them God's way from the Bible.
1. The landlord of one of our families is trying to force them out of their rental house, even though he has no legal grounds to do so.
2. A young man has a heart to follow the Lord and train for the ministry, but his wife is opposed to it and is planning to break up the family just to have her own way.
3. Another family has experienced a complicated situation regarding an uncle and a teen girl who lives with them.
4. A young married couple is on the verge of splitting due to the secret life and habitual sin of the husband. He walked out a week ago.
It is difficult to explain to you the level of spiritual warfare we face in Fiji on a daily basis. We have never experienced this many situations all at one time.
We know that our only weapon is the armor of God. Pray that we will be strong "in the power of his might."
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." II Cor. 10:4
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING WITH US.
Trusting God for the victory,
Paul and Martha Daku
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Here are the rules:
1. Do a quick post about the person that tagged you saying thanks
2. Answer the 10 questions
3. Follow 3 new blogs and list them.
4. Tag 6 people
5. Challenge one person to do something fun or crazy
1. Have you ever been to a rodeo? Y-yes... I think I went to one at WLD Ranch... Wow, that was a looooong time ago; I barely remember it.
2. Have you ever tried to ride a cow? Ha! NO!
3. Have you ever milked a cow or a goat? I think I tried to milk a goat once. Didn't work. :-)
4. Have you ever been to a Demolition Derby? I don't believe so. Not interested. :-)
5. What is your favorite country song? I don't listen to country music necessarily! I don't know, maybe I know a country song or two, but don't know that it's country... :-P
7. Have you ever cooked your breakfast over an open fire in your backyard? Not breakfast, no; but I have cooked hotdogs and marshmallows! :-)
8. Have you ever thought that the muck was shallow and when you stepped in it, you sank knee deep? Yes :-P
9. What was the hardest thing you've ever had to do? Um.... physical science, maybe? :-P Well, leaving the last church was pretty hard.
10. What's one of your most embarrassing moments? (optional) Well, there are some things that I wasn't embarrassed about at the time, but am now. Things like blowing up at a friend in front of her whole family because she was laughing when I fell off my bike... :-S And other things like that. I guess I should say falling out of the hayloft in front of a bunch of people (yeah, missing my footing, falling down a pick stack of hay bales, hitting the little door there, and falling a whole story and landing on the ground at the feet of a ten-year-old boy! LOL! ) But that was actually quite hilarious! :-P
Okay, why do they always say how many people to tag? By this time, I think everyone's been tagged.... Well, I'll just tag all of you who DON'T have a blog. You can answer in the comments section here. :-)
Here are some new blogs that I am following (didn't start following them for this tag, though, just recently found them):
Contemplations in China
And...hm...I challenge...Amanda, Bethany, and Teddy to make a new flute/piano/violin arrangement for church! :-)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We've known the Rings for about five years now (more or less?) and have grown to be great friends. I'm sure you will enjoy getting to know them as well!
Count Your Blessings
Monday, January 25, 2010
*****Romans 10:17 reminds us that "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." When praying for the unsaved that we love it is easy to lose hope. What is needed in many of our prayer lives is a solid dose of God's Word. Please take the following passages and pray through them with the names of those that you are burdended for. Read on to see the verses and prayer examples.
1) Pray for Open Doors
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: Col 4:3
Example Prayer: God please give me an opportunity to share the message of your dear Son with _____________. Please remove distractions and let me have the clarity of mind to present the Gospel clearly. God would you also give me the grace and courage to go through whatever doors you open. - Amen
2) Pray for The Word to Work Swiftly
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 Thess 3:1
Example Prayer: Father God would you please cause your Word to run freely into the heart of ____________. You know how they have heard your Word preached many times. Please do your work through your Word. - Amen
3) Pray for the Word to Break Hard Hearts
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jer 23:29
Example Prayer: Oh God, break the heart of ____________. It would seem their heart is too hard and they are continually turning away from you. Let the hammer of your Word smash through the false philosophies of this world so that ____________ may see your truth. - Amen
4) Pray for the Word to Discern the Real Issues
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12
Example Prayer: Dear Lord, I do not know what to even think about ____________. What is keeping them from turning from their sin? Please use the seed of your Word that was planted to reveal the true motives of their heart. - Amen
5) Pray that the Written and Living Word would Dispel Darkness
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Ps 119:105
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
Example Prayer: I Praise you God that your Son and my Saviour is the Light of the World and that He is able to dispel the darkness of this world. Thank you that your living Word can do the same. Please do that work in the life of _____________ my friend. - Amen
6) Pray for the Spirits Conviction
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment John 16:7-11
Example Prayer: Convict ____________ of their sin, their need for righteousness and the coming judgment of God. If your Spirit does not convict who will? - Amen
7) Pray that God’s Desire would be Realized in the Lives of the Lost
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Example Prayer: Thank you for your showing your longsuffering to me. Would you please manifest the same love to __________. Please lead ___________ to a biblical repentance. - Amen
8) Pray for God sent Laborers
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Luke 10:2
Example Prayer: Lord, you know that I have tried many times to share Christ with _____________. It would seem that they are closed to my witness. Please send someone else to them. You are able to call a specific laborer to go to them. Thank you God. I am waiting on you. - Amen
Sunday, January 24, 2010
"A lost battle is a battle one believes lost. There are three courses: you can retire, stand fast, attack. I forbid the first. You can take your choice of the other two."
"'May you obtain strength and support to walk in paths unworn, at the edge of precipices where God alone can keep us in safety,' Didon wrote from his prison in Corbara. How salutary such a walk must be to the soul, for look where one will, in books and in life, those unworn paths are trodden. Unworn? That is not a true word. Never do we go far on any path of perplexity or pain without seeing the footsteps of Him who is invisible, leading on before."
"The steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath."
"Beloved, should the brook run dry
And should no visible supply
Gladden thine eyes, then wait to see
God work a miracle for thee.
Thou canst not want, for God has said
He will supply His own with bread.
His word is sure. Creative power
Will work for thee from hour to hour,
And thou, with all Faith's host, shalt prove
God's Hand of power, God's Heart of Love."
-Margaret E. Barber
Following the story, however, Amy talks about God's care over us, who are over more value than sparrows. She then says, "And a story of comfort comes to me, as I think of those little brothers and of others over whom we would write "In vain" if it were not for that glorious "Not in vain in the Lord" that cannot be refuted by anything that can ever happen....At the end of the day, shall we not find them all [the children they were unable to rescue]? Will not all our forlorn hopes look different then, all our winters turn to spring, all our nights to dawn? In this fight for the souls for whom Christ died, may we ever say, 'In vain'?"
Though I have never had such intense spiritual battles for a soul as Miss Carmichael and her co-workers had, I have had opportunities to leave behind gospel witness in the form of a tract or a word, and have even had a chance to witness online to people I've met through blogs and forums (like Jessica, who commented on Hooks and Needles, and some athiests whom I met on the sewing forum that I am on.) Sometimes I, and we all, may wonder if the words I/we said made any difference, whether the devil just snatched them up as soon as they hit the ground. But we have the assurance that our labor is never in vain in the Lord, His word never fails what He sent it out to do. We may never know what happened to those people we attempted to reach, or how the Lord has worked in their hearts, until we arrive in eternity. Should that discourage us? Never! "Not in vain"; Amy Carmichael emphasizes that very clearly in her book. Let us continue to serve the Lord, and leave the results up to Him.
Friday, January 22, 2010
So far I have three items for sale, all doll clothes, with more to come. :-) Please feel free to stop by and browse! :-D
Here's the link:
The Dashwood Sisters
Thursday, January 21, 2010
King Louis XIV is upon the throne of France. He has declared Protestantism illegal, causing many Protestants, such as the Huguenots, to flee rance for Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and even the New World. Among these refugees are Madame de Langres and her charming daughter Madeline, as well as young Henri Baillot, Comte de Lantenac.
However, a fierce storm finds these three, a rough, weather-beaten sailor named Winters, and a black man named Cato stranded in the middle of the ocean with no knowledge of their surroundings. A providential encounter with a deserted pleasure yacht results in the discovery of a mysterious island that appears to have been abandoned suddenly and inexplicably. They find a great castle, richly furnished, but no sign of life or hint of their whereabouts.
This is only the beginning of their adventures. When Baillot is mistakenly kidnapped in the middle of the night and spirited away from his companions, a series of strange and exciting events begins. Baillot must wade through mishaps and misunderstandings to rescue his friends and the woman he loves, while the rest struggle for survival on the mysterious island. They will face pirates, convicts, hunger, and adventure, while their paths will cross over one of the greatest mysteries of their time. Will Baillot and his friends ever be reunited, or will fate and danger separate them forever? Will they ever unfold the mysteries of the island or find their way to freedom in America?
Prisoners of the Sea contains a wonderful array of beautifully crafted characters. Baillot is definitely a classical hero, with his determination, faith, and unwavering love. The incorrigible sailor, Jack Winters, comes close behind Baillot in my list of favorite characters. His sense of humor is delightful, as is his childlike faith that develops towards the end of the book. Madeline, though a somewhat stereotypical 19th-century heroine, is so sweet, and her constancy and goodness make for a beautiful model. Kingsley also presents some wonderful "bad guys" that you absolutely hate and yet feel sorry for at the same time.
Overall, this book was a fantastic read that I wouldn't mind experiencing again! I spent some very fun afternoon hours with my coffee mug and Henri Baillot. The story was exciting in itself, but the very way that Florence Kingsley puts it in words makes it even more thrilling. Her descriptions are imaginative and picturesque, often making me feel like I was there and could see it for myself. She also bounces back and forth between Baillot's and Madeline's storylines in such a way that always kept me at the edge of my seat, usually switching settings at a very exciting part. The historical twist at the end is also fascinating-- so fascinating, in fact, that I decided to look it up online and found myself entranced in the mystery that is historically unsolved to this day.
Prisoners of the Sea is not laced and empowered with deep spiritual content like George MacDonald's books, but it is an interesting and inspiring portrayal of the faith of the Huguenots of the late 17th century, especially as the story occurs as a result of the Christian's pursuit of freedom of religion in the New World. The Christian characters display steadfast faith in God and love even to their enemies.
Those of you who enjoy a good adventure written in delightful style will love Prisoners of the Sea. It is a wonderful read for a winter day, and one which you hate to put down!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
If so, start an open, anonymous blog and post something about religion.
Some of you may have seen that I posted my "investments" post on Hooks and Needles, and one girl (whom I don't know) way reeacted to my comment about Judaism (above the picture of the Rebecca doll). This is what she said:
"'Judaism is an incomplete religion without Jesus Christ, definitely, and has really strayed from God'
"I find this very offensive. You are no one to judge a religion. You may have 'apologized' for your words by saying that "the Jews are still God's chosen people" and commend AG for supporting them but I do not think that makes up for what you wrote."
Whew! At first I was shocked! Like, okay! But then I began to get hopping excited-- Here is an opportunity to share Christ!!!
So I wrote a long answer but I haven't posted it yet. I am going to bring it to the Rings this evening for Pastor Greenfield to read, since he'll be there, and Lord willing post it tomorrow. So, you all have to assignments.
- Tell me what you think of my answer (posted below) and let me know if you see anything incorrect or something I can add.
- Pray that the Spirit will move and that God will work in this girl's heart!
Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your thoughts, and am glad you felt free to share.
I am not sure what religion you follow, and if you do follow Judaism, please accept my apology if I have caused offence! My words were in no way meant to bash Judasim.
I love the Jews and believe they are God’s chosen people. Judaism in the Old Testament (the Torah) pointed forward to Christ, but throughout the Torah, they, as a nation, turned to the world and began to mix with the other nations, disregarding God's ways. They had religion, but not relationship with God or a pure heart before God (collectively).
As well as making the Jews His chosen people, God also ordained the sacrifices and laws in the Old Testament. These sacrifices and laws pointed forward to Jesus Christ, God's Son (Hebrews 8:5), who came in the form of human flesh to redeem His people-- both Jews and Gentiles-- from their sins (Matthew 1:21). According to the Bible, which is the inspired words of the God who created and sustains us, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Any religion that does not preach that our only hope is in Jesus Christ is incomplete. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The goal of religion is, basically, to reach perfection or heaven (though religions vary on their beliefs regarding that). The only way we can get to heaven, though, is to have a clean conscience and a pure heart before God. Tragically, each of us has sinned and therefore are at enmity with God, who, because He is so pure and holy, cannot look upon sin. According to the Bible, in other religions “gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshipper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as High Priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tabernacle (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:9-14) In short, Jesus, who is perfect and sinless because He is God, is the only one who could qualify to take the punishment of our sins upon Himself once and for all (instead of repeatedly like the sacrifices of the Old Testament) and to make us right with God.
It is not I who say that Jesus Christ is the only way; neither am I judging any religion. Jesus Himself, who made you and formed you for His glory and loves you, said it. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6)
Again, Jessica, I am glad you commented! It was a joy to share with you. God is so great and good and I am glad I could share with you His message to all—that our hope is in Him! May the Lord richly bless you!
-Our Mutual Friend
The problem is, what will go into that investment?
As for my second investment.... don't laugh...
...I want get another doll. Not to play with-- stop laughing!-- this is an investment. I love Kirsten more than any other doll in the world, but she's my special friend, not a model, and her ratty hair and slightly pen-marked upper lip and other worn and used features will prove that. So I need to hire a younger doll to do my modeling. :-)
The question is, which one? I want one that can look contemporary for modern clothing and historical for historical clothing. Below are some of my ideas.
The new Rebecca doll. Isn't she just gorgeous? I absolutely love her looks, and while I don't know much about her story and anticipate that it is full of the usual attitudes against authority, sibling rivalry, and other not-that-great character traits, I do commend American Girl for creating a Jewish character! Judaism is an incomplete religion without Jesus Christ, definitely, and has really strayed from God, but the Jews are still God's chosen people and I think it's great that AG is supporting them.
Besides that, Josefina is also a beautiful doll; I love her hair and eyes and skin tone and her dresses as well.
I know absolutely nothing about Ruthie (I've never even read the Kit books, only skimmed them) but the doll is very pretty and her dress is WAY cute! :-) I could probably use her for either historical or modern. Isn't she precious? :-)
I could also get some of the "Just Like You" dolls (though they wouldn't be just like me. ;-) )
This one is cute, though I don't know whether she could pass as historical even if I dressed her up. :-/ What do you think?
This girlie is ever so cute!! She looks a little bit like Ruthie except she has a different eye color and presentation dress. If I got her, I would call her Molly Gibson because she has curly dark brown hair. :-) She could pass for both modern and historical, I think.
What do you think I should do?
P.S. I forgot to mention, whatever I get I would like to pack away eventually to save for my little girl, if I ever have one! :-)
Monday, January 18, 2010
"The desires of your heart" is a phrase from Psalm 37. Remembering that the other night, I decided to turn to that psalm. Then I realized that God tells us how there. He tells us in very distinct steps.
- Trust in the Lord-- Take your hands off the steering wheel and let Him drive.
- Do good-- Don't worry about what you don't know; obey what you do know.
- Delight thyself in the Lord-- Don't look for contentment in anything/anyone else.
- Commit thy way unto the Lord-- Let Him direct your path; give it to Him and let Him lead.
- Trust also in Him-- Again, take your hands off the steering wheel and let Him drive. How many times does He need to tell us before we actually believe it enough to obey it??
- Rest in the Lord-- Don't be agitated and fretful; rest!
- Wait patiently for Him-- Know that God will work out His will in His perfect timing!
- Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way-- Stop worrying about other people. Keep moving forward with God.
So what is God's plan for me? Working overseas with a children's ministry? Staying at home and serving wherever the opportunity arises, such as staying with Hadleys for a week here and there, or helping teach the Byers kids? Getting married? (Please, Lord, not yet! :-P ) Launching into full-time writing? I may not need to know just now; but I do need to continue to trust, do good, delight, commit, rest, and wait... God will lead! And if I keep my eyes on Him and keep following Him, He will lead me to the right place and situation! Thank you, Lord!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
"God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to."
"To dream, and want and pray, almost savagely; then to commit and wait and see Him quietly pile all dreams aside and replace them with what we could not dream, the realized Will."
"If God, like a father, denies us what we want now it is in order to give us some far better thing later on. The will of God, we can rest assured, is invariably a better thing."
"Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalm 37:4)
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11)
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9)
Friday, January 15, 2010
Make my heart a Beth-el,
Make a holy shrine
That You may abide here,
Here let separation
'Tween my God and me
Be broken on my pillow,
I my God to see.
Angels, make your pathway
Cross above this place,
Open Heaven's curtains,
I to see God's face.
May my heart be open,
That my Lord may speak,
Comforting the weary,
Strengthening the weak.
Offer Your protection;
I will trust You, Lord.
Bring me back to Canaan,
By Your grace outpoured.
And when I awaken
And the vision's gone,
Still, Lord, let it linger
All my journey long.
And when I returning
Come across this place,
I shall give You worship;
I shall see Your face.
Make my heart a Beth-el,
Lord, for You, to be--
Where earth may see Heaven,
Time touch eternity.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Looking back over my journal around New Years, I found an entry from last January in which I wrote down some admirable traits I saw in Rebekah in Genesis 24, and, from those things, some guidelines a young woman should follow if she is to marry a truly godly man. Here are the things I recorded, along with some extra thoughts I jotted down afterwards:
- She must not be "of the world"; rather she should be a fellow Christian, "kinswoman" through Christ (vv. 3,4)
- She should be willing to joyfully serve her family, even if it is in just the mundane tasks of life, like drawing water (v. 15)
- She should be ready and happy to serve others (v. 18)
- She should be attentive to others' needs, willing to go the second mile (v. 19)
- She should be pure in heart and body, keeping herself for the man she marries (v. 16)
- She should be hospitable (v. 25)
- She should be willing to do God's will when it becomes clear, and won't be hindered by earthly ties (v. 58)
- She should be modest, not set on catching a guy's eye (v. 65)
- When she is married, she should be willing and equipped to tend to her husband's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs (v. 67)
Monday, January 11, 2010
If you scroll down, you'll see that I rearranged my sidebar a little. I changed the appearance of some things like the blog archives and labels, removed some things like my "favorite links" list (especially since I'm doing my "good blogs to read" series anyway), and added some text.
One of the new features is a list of prayer requests. At church, Mr. Vrotsos has been encouraging us to share with one another and pray with one another. I think many of us are so used to not sharing that we feel vulnerable to mention the needs of our hearts. However, as Christians, we are not supposed to be hiding in our shells and never letting one in; that is more pride than it is humility. In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul says that when the people were praying for specific things, they could also rejoice in the Lord and give thanks when they saw God answer those prayers. In the Psalms, David speaks over and over again about how the Lord heard his prayer and answered, and he encourages people to praise the Lord with him for His faithfulness and goodness. Indeed, it is easier to document the specific answers God gives us when we also know the specific request we laid before Him.
On my prayer list, I have shared some specific needs that I am asking prayer for, and it will change from time to time. I will be sure to keep you updated on answers. ;-) You are welcome to use my idea on your blog, if you wish, and I will gladly pray for you as well. :-)
Another feature I added was the Bible Reading Schedule for January. I rearranged the New Testament reading on my schedule from church because I wanted to space out the gospels throughout the year instead of reading them all at once. So each month I am going to post my schedule and you are welcome to follow along if you are needing a schedule to go by. :-) Future posts will probably be based on what I am reading as well. :-)
One more thing: I moved the Followers list to the bottom of the page, where I removed my movie posters. (They are still available upon request, if you'd like me to email them to you.) So if you want to follow this blog, the gadget is at the very end of the page! ;-)
So that's that! You all have a wonderful week.
Love you all,
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Speak, O Lord
by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.
Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow'r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.
Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Here is a wonderful article about how we read God's Word. Please check it out; you will be very encouraged and edified. (Don't skim the article! ;-) )
For keen the eyes that grief has washed with tears;
The son knew not that cords of love would draw him
From out the tangled snare of wasted years.
His father ran: Love's feet were never holden;
The kiss, the robe, the ring,the shoes declare
Eternal love, and wandering son embolden
To seek his Father's heart and find it there.
My Father, very wonderful Thy loving--
The Father ran. Oh, give and give again,
The love that runs, compassion ever moving
To welcome home the troubled sons of men.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The preacher who had preached this message drew the analogy between this and our own lives. Sometimes when things get tough, we wander and go where God did not call us to go. As Pastor said in a recent message, we end up at an impass, and the only way to get out of it is to go back to where we first began to stray. In Abraham's case, this was Bethel.
I wrote a poem about it several years ago, after hearing that one message. I think I was probably twelve or thirteen when I wrote it, so it is not as good as my recent ones. But I thought I'd share it with you anyway. (Note: It was recent sort of as a song, and the last stanza was the chorus. It was written more in late 1800's hymn style but I think I'd like to revise it a little to make it slightly more modern.)
I lived back in Bethel, quite happy within,
But on came the famine, and on came the sin.
I said, “I can’t take this! I must go away!”
So I traveled to Egypt and left off to pray.
I’ve wandered, so weary, awaiting a word
From God on His throne; wondered I if He heard.
And then— lo! He whispered so soft in my ear,
“Return unto Bethel; ’tis there I will hear.”
I trudged back to Bethel. A joy filled my heart!
If only I’d stayed back in Bethel to start!
But God is forgiving— I’m trying once more,
Awaiting the blessings on the heav’nly shore.
Returning to Bethel, that sweet, happy land,
Where prayers flow like water; we’re led by God’s hand.
Returning to where my hard journey began,
I’m turning my footsteps toward Bethel again.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Marie's Musings is the blog of one of my friends from church as well as a columnist for the Tuckleberry Times. On her blog, Marie shares her adventures in novel- and screenplay-writing, homemaking, and growing in the Lord. Her articles are always very encouraging and challenging to me in my walk with the Lord, especially her recent article about "musings in the snow". She has some fun articles about projects she is working on, books she is reading, and life around the house for a graduated young lady with younger siblings. All topics are brought back to glorifying God through every aspect of our lives.
I highly encourage you to drop over at Marie's Musings. You will be blessed by what you read!
Note: You may remember seeing this blog at the address http://musingsbymarie.blogspot.com. However, she recently moved to wordpress.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Satan and Sin
Satan, when tempting, first twists God's Word to make it sound ridiculous, hints that God could be wrong, and then breaks out in an utter blatant lie. Then he appeals to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. He appeals to man's desire for power, prestige, knowledge, "god-likeness". He tries to prove how man will "miss out", how God is denying them privileges that they ought to have. (3:1-6)
Man and Sin
When man sins, he easily brings others along with him into sin. Then he realizes the shame of his deed and tries to cover it up with his own doings. He tries to hide from God because he knows he is is trouble. When confronted, he often tries to shift the blame so he can avoid responsibility for what he has done. (3:6-10)
God Over Sin
God knows everything, and yet He calls man to account: "Where are you?" He convicts of sin, and, due to His holy character, cannot look upon sin. Relationship is broken; payment must be made. The payment of sin is death. However, God offers hopes of redemption through Jesus Christ and then covers man with clothing of His own making. Jesus is the way back into the Garden of Eden. (3:8-24)