Thursday, April 29, 2010

These Three: Part 2: HOPE

I wrote most of this last month; I'm not sure how good it is (probably not very well-written) but I hope it may encourage some of you. :-)



It's a word we say often, but don't always lay to heart.


How easy it is to lose hope! In our humanness, it is easy to look at circumstances, to fail to see God's hand at work, and to think, "Nothing will ever change... why hope if nothing is going to happen?" I found myself considering this issue the other month. There was something that I have been praying about for a very long time, and I thought I saw God beginning to work in this situation, and my earthly self thought quickly, "Don't hope-- you have hoped something would happen before and your hopes were dashed. Don't make yourself vulnerable to let them be dashed again."

But then God, who is so much wiser than I, began to bring to my attention many verses that contradicted this fleshly thought. Some of these He pointed out to me as I read His Word. Others He reminded me of through the words of a very sweet friend.

The first I had posted up on my wall in my bedroom:

"Love bears all things,
believes all things,
HOPES all things,
endures all things."
(1 Corinthians 13:7)

True, Christlike love does not think, "I can't see so-and-so getting right with God, so why hope?" Instead, it trusts God and prepares itself to see Him work.

But what if hope disappoints me??

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed (or as I read elsewhere, "does not disappoint"); because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:3-5)

Hope is a little bit like faith. With both hope and faith, you can't see, but you must choose to believe. Webster's 1828 defines hope this way: "To cherish a desire of good, with some expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable." It is not an "I wish, I wish, I wish", but looking forward to something with a belief that God is able to, and will, do as He has promised.

When I was thinking over this topic of hope, I was reminded of the scene in our Pilgrim's Progress audio tapes, which I believe isn't in the book... After Christian discovers the Key of Promise when he and Hopeful are in the Dungeon of Despair, he takes a moment to see if anyone else in the dungeon will be free with him and Hopeful. "Will anyone choose to believe God's promise, and act upon it?" The one man they speak with, however, is so trapped in the changes of Despair, that he cannot reach out in hope and be freed. Thinking of that scene, I considered how we can see God work in wonderful ways when we hope and believe in Him, and how the opposite of Hope is Despair, which chains us in and prevents us from seeing God work and fulfill His promise.

We can hope and trust in God because Jesus has risen from the dead and given us life in Him.  We can hope and believe to see God work because He has promised to do so.  Let us not lose heart.  Let us hope in the Lord.

"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3:25)

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Romans 8:24-25)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." (1 Peter 1:3)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Interesting Quote I Read....

...I don't know who the writer is but the quote was good. :-)

I've decided that I don't like the word "rejection" as an author. I'm going to start calling it "redirection," as in "I just received a redirection." That way, it reminds me that God's ultimately in charge of my career--not editors!

~ Dena Ratliff Dyer

Monday, April 26, 2010


The following passage is part of a Sunday School Bible lesson taught by Eric Liddell in China.

"[Sincere] means genuine, honest, and free from hypocrisy-- the real thing.  And it comes from two Latin words: sine--without, and sere--wax.  Without wax?  What's that got to do with anything?  Well, I'll tell you.

"Many years ago in the time of the Roman Empire marble was a very popular, beautiful stone.  Large slabs were cut out of the ground and skilled craftsmen shaped them into pillars, statues, vases, and many beautiful things.  Sometimes if the marble was of inferior quality it would develop a crack and consequently become of little value.

"To avoid losing income, some unscrupulous craftsmen would fill the crack with wax, smooth it off, then polish the surface to a high gloss and pass it off as an unblemished piece.  Unfortunately, at a later date, the wax would shrink and split and the unfortunate purchaser would realize that he had a worthless piece of marble on his hands.

"Buyers eventually got wise to the fraud, and when purchasing anything made of marble, they demanded assurance that the product was the real thing, namely pure marble without hidden flaws or imperfections filled with wax.  The real thing: sine--without; sere--wax.  From this we get our English word 'sincere'-- being in reality as it is in appearance--real--honest.

"Now then, boys and girls, what about you?

"Are you the real thing?  Or do you have some flaws or cracks that you think you have successfully hidden from others?"

-Eric Liddell: Pure Gold by David McCasland, pages 141-142

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I think I've gotten this from several people, but I've lost track....

Rules: First, if you have been tagged, you must write your answers in your own LJ and replace any questions that you dislike with a new question.

Second, tag eight people. Don't refuse to do this! Do not tag the person who tagged you.

What song are you currently listening to a lot?

I haven't been listening to much this week, though the CD I've been listening to most is "Awaken the Dawn" by the Gettys :-D :-D :-D

What books are you currently reading?

LOL! What books am I reading!?!?!? Well, let's see: The Bible, Pure Gold, Our Mutual Friend, Attitudes of a Transformed Heart, The Plot Thickens, North and South...and more. :-D Mainly The Bible and Our Mutual Friend though.

What did you do today that was really fun?

Um... did I do anything really fun today? Um... I dressed Kirsten in her Meet dress and did her hair in loops which I haven't done for a long time... I know it's silly but I do get a kick out of doing that... and I also worked (am working on, or should be working on) MD!

Do you sing a lot?

Yes. :-)

Sweet or Salty?

Both, but I'd rather salty than sweet.

What is your current obsession/addiction?

Keith and Kristyn Getty, American Girl dolls :-D

What books have you read at least 3 times?

The first four Millie Keith books (count that as one....), the Little House series except Farmer Boy (count those as another one), The Bible

What site do you always visit when you are online?

Gmail, Facebook, Blogger, and the forums that I'm on

What was the last thing you bought?

Fabric (to be specific, yellow linen-look fabric from JoAnns, for a new dress, and 90-inch wide muslin for mock-ups and a petticoat)

List 6 things you love about summer
1. No school, 2. No snow, 3. Friends visiting, 4. Fresh Garden Salsa, 5. summery dresses, 6. swimming.

Favorite earliest memory?
Favorite earliest memory? I can't remember which one of my memories is my earliest memory. I think Daddy singing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" is one of the earliest, and Beth being born and us coloring on blank newspaper paper at the hospital...

What do you do to change your mood?
Usually I have to sleep myself out of it. :-) Or write, or hang out with my si'ters and mamma. :-)

What was the last thing you ate?
The last bite I had was orange. :-)

Do you want to learn another language?
Maybe. I've done 2 1/2 years of Spanish and can't remember much of it at all so if I did learn another language, I'd like to be some place where I could apply it. So possibly Russian or Hindi, though I wouldn't mind learning Italian either. Or Canadian French (can you believe I said that? ;-) But Canadian is not the same as French... ;-) ) (BTW, folks, I joke, but don't really have anything against the French. Just against Dickens' evil French characters. :-) )

Five things you can't live without:

1. Jesus Christ
2. My family
3. My writing
4. springtime
5. I could say my computer, but I've been over a week without it now so I can't say that, so I'll say A computer. :-)

Find the closest book currently sitting near you, and flip to page 54. What is the 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph?

"Happy too the children so trained in habits of obedience to their earthly parents that they learn almost instinctively to obey and honour God." Hey, that's good! That's from Hudson Taylor: The Growth of a Soul" by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor

What are you looking forward to?

Visiting the Hadleys next month (Lord willing, if it works out) :-D

Now, WHY am I FORCED to tag eight people? I hate that. Okay I tag,
1. Whoever Wants
2. To Do
3. This Tag
4. But Not
5. Any One
6. Who Does Not
7. Wish
8. To Do It

:-D How's that! I tagged eight! Wahahahahaha!!!! TTFN, I'm back to the harbor (that is the setting of the part I'm at in MD. ;-) )

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thought-Provoking Quote

"If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."
-C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


...The reason why I have not been posting is not that I have nothing to post or not enough time to post... the reason is I am without my computer!  It started going goofy on me on Thursday and would not start up for me.  We took it in to get looked at yesterday and I don't have it back yet.  So I am on my sister's computer. :-)

When I get my lappy back I will return to posting.  Promise! :-D

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Except on Inkblots. :-)
The original line from which the text above is taken is probably us girls' FAVORITE Charlie Brown line. :-) Watch the video below to know why. (I'M SERIOUS! WATCH IT!)

(That's our cousin Daniel and us in November 2007, when we went out to California to see my grandma. Daniel is such a pickle. :-) )

Monday, April 12, 2010

Promise Hunt Results

Did anybody take time to write down promises in Scripture this week?  I didn't remember every single time I came across one, but I was able to get several written down.  Here they are:

God Promises...
    • Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." 
    • Psalm 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
    • Psalm 91 (the whole chapter)
    • James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
    • Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for He hath said, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.'"
    • Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail, nor forsake thee."
    • Deuteronomy 31:8 "And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."
    • James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."
    • James 4:8a "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."
    • 1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all  be made alive."

What did you learn this week about God's promises?  Please feel free to share references and thoughts in the Comments section!  (Pweez!! :-D  I don't hate comments!! :-D )

Friday, April 9, 2010

I hadn't thought about it for a long time....

...and then... I thought about it...
....and kept thinking about it....
...which made me think about looking up a friend of mine who I hadn't talked to for a long time, on Facebook....
(my friend, Lois, is in the yellow outfit)
...and then I was looking at her pictures...

...which made me think about it even more...

...about people who need Jesus... Odissi dancer...

...a miserable-looking Hindu couple, who probably didn't even know each other until that day they got married...
...precious little children...

...a rather frightful-looking Hindu performer...

...because they were taught to believe in and slave under this...
...instead of to believe in and worship the One True God, Jehovah, and His Son Jesus Christ.

Who knows how long I'll be thinking about it, or what will come of it. Nevertheless, I have been reminded...
India needs Jesus.

Thanks for bearing with my ramble. I have a lot on my mind these days.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

God Reversed My Thinking...

This is incredible!!! Please watch and enjoy!


Faith is to believe what God says is true.
Faith is to trust what God does is right.
Faith is to be confident that what God allows in my life is for my good.
Faith is to live in hope; what God has promised for today will also be true for tomorrow.
Faith always has an object and that object must always be GOD.
~Taken from a bookmark sent to us by a friend

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Are you keeping your eye out for promises in Scripture? My list is building up nicely!! Thought I'd just ask and remind y'all. :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Um... Okay... You Tell Me! :-)

An excerpt from Warlock o' Glenwarlock, the original version of The Laird's Inheritance:

"Cosmo, as sune's ye're hame, ye'll sen' yer manstrauchtawa'upo'the horse to lat my lady's fowk ken. She better write them a bit letter, an' tell them she's fa'en in wi' an auld acquaintance, a lass ca'd Agnes Gracie, a dacent yoong wuman, an' haein' lost her ro'd an' bein' unco tired, she's gaein' hame wi' her to sleep; an' the laird o' Glenwarlock was sae kin' 's to sen' his man upo' his horse to cairry the letter. That w'y there'll be nae lees tellt, an' no ower muckle o' the trowth."

That's why I read the edited versions! ;-) (Thanks, Michael Phillips!!)

Desired Europe Trip--First Stop: Scottish Highlands! :-D

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Laird's Inheritance

Everyone who knows me well knows that I love George MacDonald. MacDonald, the Beloved Storyteller of Scotland, has been, for many years, a model for me in my writing and an encouragement and challenge in my walk with God. However, it had been some time since I had read one of his novels, and when I picked one up again last summer, I made little headway and put it down for over half a year! Last week, however, I picked it up again and found, as usual, a gem.

The Laird's Inheritance, written by George MacDonald, was originally entitled Warlock o' Glenwarlock, and soon after changed to Castle Warlock. It was first published in 1881, and was one of MacDonald's longest novels, at 714 pages! In the 1987, it was edited by Michael Phillips and reprinted by Bethany House Publishers.

The description on the back of the book reads:


Beautifully set in the proud culture of the Scottish Highlands, The Laird's Inheritance introduced the readers to a young boy, Cosmo Warlock, the last in a long line of landowning "lairds" of the Castle Warlock. His family once wealthy, Cosmo now grows up in poverty as piece after piece of the Laird's land is sold or mortgaged away to keep the creditors at bay.

This moving account of the loss of an earthly inheritance has become a vivid word portrait from the pen of Scotland's master storyteller to display the eternal inheritance of a heavenly kingdom.

As is the case with all MacDonald's books, The Laird's Inheritance served as more than mere entertainment for me, though the story is indeed compelling and enjoyable. More than that, however, it etched its way deep into my heart, shining light upon the areas of my life that needed to change, and encouraging me on to a deeper walk with the Lord. It challenged me, in particular, to not allow any earthly thing to come in between me and God, but to allow Him to be the most important treasure in my life. The laird's conversations with his son were especially convicting and challenging, as he encourages Cosmo to set his heart upon God and his mind on things above, to "do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God."

I had a very few quibbles with the book. Cosmo's character at the beginning was, to me, a little bit annoying, as it was very much like several of George MacDonald's other heroes, and as the story went on and he grew older, his personality began to grow on me and I liked him a lot better. The storywriter in me also could see ways that the story might have come together a little better so that the storylines ran more parallel and built on each other more. This is just a petty little opinion of mine though. :-) The Scottish dialogue has been slightly "toned down" to make it easier to read, though in some places I had to slow down and glance back at the introduction a couple times to get the right sense of what was being said.

Overall, it was a wonderful book, though. The story was engaging, the spiritual message was convicting, and I was reminded of why I love George MacDonald so much! I highly encourage you to get a copy of this book from your library or from You can also read the original, unabridged version at

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Sometimes a thunderbolt will shoot from a clear sky; and sometimes into the life of a peaceful individual, without warning of gathered storm, something terrible will fall. And from that moment everything is changed. That life is no more what it was. Better it ought to be, worse it may be. The result depends on the life itself and it's response to the invading storm of trouble. Forever after, it's spiritual weather is altered. But for the one who believes in God, such rending and frightful catastrophies never come but where they are turned around for good in his own life and in other lives he touches."
-George MacDonald, The Curate's Awakening

Promise Hunt

Did you read the song I copied in this post? If not, go read it and then come back here.

Did you read it? Okay.

From Sunday, April 4th, to Sunday, April 11th, I am inviting all who wish to participate to a week-long treasure hunt. :-)

What I am going to do, and what you can do, is: Every time you find a promise of God to believers in Scripture, copy down the reference. On April 12th, when you are done with your "treasure hunt" ;-), copy all the Scripture references you found in the post that I'll make available there. If you want, you can share your thoughts on the different promises. (You don't have to flip through your Bible looking for every promise you can find, but just as you go about your daily Bible reading, or get a letter from a friend containing a Promise verse, just copy those.)

I want to do this because it is so important for us to meditate on God's Word and to know His will for us and His promises to us. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. We need to remember that. When we allow ourselves to forget, we can easily become discouraged, and that's not healthy for our spiritual lives!

So... will you join me?

If you have any questions, if I didn't make myself clear, just comment. :-)


 I got this on Jason's blog.

What's Your FavoriteColor? green or purple... but my favorite color combo is green and pink, followed by blue and yellow :-D
Candy? I'm not much of a candy person, but I like M'n'Ms!! :-D
Main dish? hm.... Chicken Divan, stromboli, spaghetti.... I dunno!!
Dessert? ice cream :-)
Drink? coffee, chai tea, real lemonade (not the powdered stuff)
Veggie? mm.... carrots?

Do You
Go to Starbucks Coffee Shop?
Y-EAH!!!!  Of course I do!  But I don't usually get one, because it's usually Mommy and Amanda who get one, and then it's usually a plain coffee, which Starbucks plain coffee always gives me problems-- from the jitters to spilling it all over me! But I love flavored drinks from there. :-)
Go to the mall a lot? No, I don't like the mall.
Talk on the phone everyday to someone who is not family? No, I don't talk on the phone much at all. :-)
Read your Bible everyday? Yes.
Do lots of reading? Not as much as I should.  Sometimes I can go a couple days without READING-reading anything but my Bible.  Internet's fault. :-D
See your grandparents everyday? No, maybe once a week or once every two weeks I see my dad's parents.
Bake a lot? Almost never.
Clean your room everyday? Haha... you come in here and you tell me!! :-P  NO!
Have to say your sorry to someone everyday? I probably should... :-S

A Certain Thing You Dislike Of Each CategoryVeggie? turnips ("I hate turnips!") ;-)
Color? 70's orangey-yellow.
Drink? most kinds of pop
Animal? monkeys :-)

Do You Have A
Ohhhhh yeah!!!! :-D
Gift card at the moment? Yes.  I still have to finish off my JoAnn's gift card but I am waiting for the right fabric to go on sale. :-D
Sewing machine? YES! :-D
Big mess under your bed? You bet! :-D
Pack of gum in your bag or purse? Yeppers!  Two packs!  One is berry-flavored, the other is spearmint.
Computer in your room? On my lap this very moment! :-)

Have You EverBeen on a plane? of course
Been out of state? I go out of state all the time! :-P
Been out of the country? Yeah... to Canada! :-S
Been in a eight-teen wheeler? I don't know if I have....
Been in a car accident? a minor, itsy-bitsy one
Read about a hundred and fifty page book in about an hour? Probably...

Your Favorite Place ToGo shopping? JoAnn's!
Eat out? Cracker Barrell, and I just discovered last night that Shake 'n' Steak is really good too! :-D
Go visit? Indiana!  and Georgia. :-D
Read a good book at? The swing outside

RandomWhat color is your room? pink and green
How old are you? eighteen :-D
What year were you born? you do the math :-)
Are you related to anyone important or famous? it is said that we are related to Robert E. Lee, who was related to Helen Keller, who was related to George Washington, so if we are indeed  related to Robert E. Lee, then, yeah! :-D ;-)  And our cousin Patrick O'Conner was pretty well known in London.
Have you ever met a vice president? No, but I've seen a president before :-)
Are you getting bored yet? no, I love these things.
What are you thinking? that this summery weather is lovely! Oh and Mommy is going to heat up our last rhubarb pie!!! :-D

Who You Will TagTHANK YOU FOR NOT SAYING HOW MANY PEOPLE I NEED TO TAG!!!!!   This is open to all who wish to do it. :-)

Friday, April 2, 2010


"God....God, please...please give me a glimpse of You. I need to see a glimpse of You-- I feel so far away."

This was my prayer last night as we were driving home from Bible class, listening to our new Getty CD with the windows down. In the West, the sun had already dipped below the horizon, and shades of pink peeked over the trees, rising into purple, and finally blending into a dark, nighttime blue. Around me I saw God's glory, in the music I heard His truth, and yet my heart was lonely. It had been several weeks, and though spring had come to the earth, I was still struggling through a very discouraging winter in my soul. Here and there I was noticing new things in God's Word, and I was reading His Word and praying and singing to Him, but for a couple weeks my heart had been feeling so empty, like I couldn't connect to God. I longed for that feeling of thrill, not in any circumstance, but just that thrill of knowing Him, really knowing Him. That thrill of realizing as I never had before some aspect of His character, and knowing His presence with me. To go without that even for a couple days, much more two weeks, is to be very, very discouraged.

We got home; I did my normal evening routine of getting dressed for bed, checking blogs and Facebook, and even chatted with a friend on Windows Live. After that, I turned off my overhead light, turned on my small "nighttime" lights, scooted my feet under my covers, and pulled out my Bible. My heart was still empty. "Lord, I want so much to be close to You," I prayed. "But I feel so far away, in a way You can't even im--" I was about to say "imagine", but I stopped myself. That was no way to talk to God; besides, the verse about Jesus being the merciful and faithful high priest who is able to identify with our sufferings and temptations echoed in the back of my head and silenced me in mid-sentence. In that moment, God answered my prayer.

For suddenly, my mind went back to that dark day, and saw Jesus hanging between earth and heaven, that moment the Father turned His face away... and Jesus cried in agony, "My God, my God,why hast Thou forsaken me?" In that one moment, Jesus called His Father "my God", instead of "my Father", for in that moment He bore the sins of all the world, and the Father could not look upon His Son.

It was just for a minute, and yet in that minute Jesus tasted what it was like to feel so far away from God the Father, and yet it was so much worse, because for all eternity, the Father had never turned His face away from His Son.

Tears welled in my eyes, and that thrill I had longed for filled my soul. Instantly, the feeling of loneliness and distance from God was dismissed and replaced with a very real sense of God's presence. For I realized that Jesus did know how I was feeling, and more, in such a way that I couldn't even imagine. In that one moment, Jesus tasted the bitterest extent of separation from the Father, so that I might enjoy close communion with my King for all eternity.

Words cannot express that joy that filled my heart as I realized anew the amazing love and grace my God showed to me. Yes, sometimes darkness obscures my view, and I cannot see God, but it is promised: through Jesus I have been brought indeed unto the Father's side, never to be separated from Him again. This the power of the Cross!! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

This song on our new CD really spoke to my heart as well, last evening. I am grateful that God works in others' lives to write and sing words that are such a blessing to us. May they be a blessing to you as well.

Every Promise

"Every Promise of Your Word"
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

From the breaking of the dawn to the setting of the sun,
I will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Words of power, strong to save, that will never pass away,
I will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
For Your covenant is sure,
And on this I am secure—
I can stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

When I stumble and I sin, condemnation pressing in,
I will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
You are faithful to forgive that in freedom I might live,
So I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Guilt to innocence restored,
You remember sins no more—
So I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

When I'm faced with anguished choice, I will listen for Your voice,
And I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Through this dark and troubled land
You will guide me with Your hand
As I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
And You've promised to complete
Ev'ry work begun in me—
So I'll stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

Hope that lifts me from despair, love that casts out ev'ry fear,
As I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Not forsaken, not alone, for the Comforter has come,
And I stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.
Grace sufficient, grace for me,
Grace for all who will believe—
We will stand on ev'ry promise of Your Word.

May this "Good Friday" be one in which you see the grace of God in a fresh and new way that leaves you so in awe of and in love with Him!