Sunday, October 31, 2010


I think this little-known holiday (accidentally fallen on the same day as one of the worst holidays imaginable ;-) ) may be one of my favorites, next to Christmas.  This year, we "celebrated" it (if you want to word it that way) by watching the film Luther.  You see, on this same day, in the year 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at the Church at Wittenberg, thus initiating what we now know as the Protestant Reformation.

This is a wonderful day to reflect, not only on the work of God in causing men to return to the Bible for truth, but also on the truth His Word does contain.  The days prior to the Reformation were hideously dark days.  People lived in despair and fear, toiling from day to day, fearing God's judgment and believing in terrorizing superstitions.  They could not read God's Word for themselves, so they did not know about God's love, His mercy, His justice, His compassionate, His faithfulness... These truths bring such great comfort to us today, but they did not have this comfort.  One can almost hear Jesus speaking directly to the Church of that day as he did to the lawyers of his day:  "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."

However, when brave men such as John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, God's Word was opened up again to the common man.  In translations from Latin into the common language, men and women were able to discover for themselves that God did love them, and that He gave His Son as a ransom for their sin so that they, if they would believe on Him, might have eternal life and blessing in Him.   The re-entrance of God's Word upon the dark world sparked a great revival, seen not only in the Church, but also in matters of politics, science, economics, and morality.  Indeed, "the entrance of thy words giveth light" (Psalm 118:130).

Take time today to thank God for giving us His Word, and thank Him also for the men who risked their lives to provide us with a way to read It.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

God's Care and Provision

"And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?   If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?   Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.   But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!   And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.   For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.   Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

(Luke 12:22-34)

Isn't it wonderful to know that God loves us and cares for us?  I think many conservative Christians brush over this fact because they see it as "prideful" or over-emphasized by "liberal" Christians, but nothing can change the truth of it, nor the joy we have for knowing it.   God told us so because He wanted us to know it.  It is a glorious truth!

This passage reminds us of God's special care for us.  Why should we worry that we won't have enough to eat, or clothes to wear, or a place to live, or that we will never marry or get a job or whatever the case may be?  God sees our needs and He always provides.  He did for our family in very special ways while my dad was off work.  Many times He has provided what we needed just when we needed it.   He knows, He cares, and He provides, just as He does for the flower of the field and for the little birds in winter.

Not only does He provide for physical needs, but He also provides for our emotional needs.  Many a time have I felt in the quiet of my heart that I had no more love to give, that I could not hope any longer, that joy was impossible, or I have felt lonely and longing, and He has reached down and met that need with Himself.  He gives us that love, joy, peace, hope, fulfillment.  For those of us who long for the right partner to make up the other half of our hearts, God provides us with Himself, and in His time, if it is His will, He will provide us with that special person.  He cares for that, and He will meet that need.  There is absolutely no reason to worry that He won't.

Instead, we have the joyous privilege of resting in Him and, in the waiting time, of seeking Him.  While He provides for our physical and emotional needs, we are to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, the things that will last forever.  We are to actively come before Him and learn of Him and take His yoke upon us; we are to daily deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him; we are to read His Word, sing praises to His Name, reflect on His character, and proclaim His Gospel to the world.  It is our duty to seek Him; it is His joy to provide.
I am so glad that He has revealed His loving and caring heart to us in His Word.  It would be a miserable life indeed if we did not know and accept the truth of His lovingkindness and goodness to His Creation.  But to know God is inexpressible joy.

Pictures by Bethany :-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

God of Heaven (lyrics)

A couple posts back, I posted a video of the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team singing "God of Heaven".  I wasn't sure if you could catch all the words (the video quality was poor) so I thought I would post them here for you to enjoy and meditate on.

Words and Music by Heather Sorenson

God of Heaven, God of all the earth and sky.
Great Creator, Master of all nature.
Who gives birth to snow from heaven,
Holds the waves at ocean's edge,
Gives the orders to the morning,
Shows each dawn its place to shine?
God of Heaven, God of all the earth and sky.

God of Ages, God who wrote the Book of Time.
Sovereign Ruler, Alpha and Omega.
Saints before, He's guided safely.
History's pages signed by Him.
Author of our days and hours;
Things to come are held secure.
God of Ages, Alpha and Omega.

God of Power!  God who breaks the darkness.
Righteous Warrior, Champion of His children,
Goes before us into battle;
Good and evil bow to Him,
Those in bondage freed forever,
Victories won at  His command!

God who heals us, God who gives us peace and hope.
God who listens, Carries all our fragile
Dreams and heartaches, wins and failures;
Binds the broken; hides the weak.
New beginnings freely offered;
Who can make us whole again?
God who heals us, God of Power,
God of Ages, God of Heaven,
God of all the earth and sky.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Michelle at "Pilgrim's Welcomed Home". Thank you, Michelle!  In this tag, I am to answer the questions she asked, tag eight people, and then ask eight questions of my own, which the people I tag will answer if they decide to do the tag. :-) 
This has been a very lovely, but challenging (in a good way) tag!  Michelle asked some very thought-provoking questions!  Here are my answers:

1. I have a painting in my home that immediately gets my heart to singing Sheep May Safely Graze. Is there a photo or a painting or even an object that makes you think of a song to sing? If not a song, is there a Bible verse that comes to mind?
Well actually, this picture by John Brown reminds me of that very song you mentioned.
Sheep Grazing Under Apple Blossoms
Isn't it so beautiful and peaceful?  Sheep by still waters and green pastures, a picture of God's loving care for us.  With God as our shepherd, we need never fear!
This one following makes me think of the song "Sometimes a Light Surprises".

2. If you could sit across a table with someone living today, who would it be and what one question would you ask them? Please, I beg you, no politicians.
Another hard one.  Most of the people that I don't know already whom I loved to sit across the table from and talk with are no longer living. :-(  But, I suppose it does not have to be a famous person... I would love to sit across the table from my penpal whom I've never met in person, Amanda C., and ask her... I'm not sure what, but I know we would have so much to talk about.  I think it would also be wonderful to sit across the table from someone who knew Eric Liddell or Amy Carmichael (my heroes :-) ).  I would ask them what it was like to know them, what stands out most to them in their memory, and how they impacted their lives.

3. We are studying the history of classical music at our home. If you could choose one piece of classical music, what selection would you choose, who is the composer, and why does this song have meaning to you?
I love Chopin's Raindrop Prelude; it's so beautiful and expressive.  The music sounds like it's raining and thundering.  It is my favorite piece to play on the piano.

4. What one thing in all of creation that you can see with your eyes, grips your heart and makes you stand in awe of His majesty? Why?
The ocean/lake/any large body of water, especially if the sun is setting into it.  There is something about the crashing waves, the breeze coming over the water, and the brilliant colors that seem to just sing of the majesty and creativity and power of God.  

5. Is there any one thing you are fanatical about? How do you know (has somebody told you!)?
This was a hard one, probably because I was thinking to literally.  I think I may be fanatical about American Girl-- most girls my age have given up on dolls, but I still love AG dolls and still talk to mine and play with their hair and keep up on the latest AG news.  I may also be described as "fanatical" about writing; it takes up at least an hour of every day except Sunday, and along with that comes much daydreaming about my book, falling in love with my characters, and seeing random people at the store and coming up with stories for them in my mind. :-)

6. If you could choose a season, which one is your favorite and why? Describe what it looks like outside your window today.
Definitely spring... because that is when life conquers the death of winter, new things begin to grow, and all Creation looks so happy.
Outside my window are brilliant orange and yellow leaves in the trees and on the ground, blue skies with patches of fluffy white cloud here and there, wood is stacked up and ready for winter, and smoke from our stovepipe is dissipating into the chilly air.
(Okay, I worked on this post over a period of a couple days, and right before I am posting it, it is dark and chilly outside.  But when I was writing the answer above, it was afternoon. :-) )

7. What's your favorite "just got out of bed in the morning" drink and do you have a special place you go to enjoy it?
Coffee!!!  Definitely!!  I usually just have it in my room, on the floor with my back to my bed, though if it's not too hot, I like to have my coffee and quiet time down in the basement.  

Now I will tag eight people, but if you would rather not do the tag, don't feel bad declining.

Bethany at Day by Day 
Amanda at Amanda's Journals
Gabrielle at Joyful Daughter
Leah at The White Woods
Ana at Ana's Corner
Hanne-Col at A Rainbow of Thoughts
Emily H. in the Comments
Teddy in the Coments

Agh, hardly anyone who follows my blog has a blog, which is why I mentioned some friends answering in the Comments section or in any email.  I may even answer them myself. :-P  If anyone else wants to do this, consider yourself tagged. :-)

My questions for you:
1. What is one of your earliest memories of growing up?
2. How many books do you read at one time?  Do you read several books of the same genre at once, or do you include a variety of genres in your reading?
3. Have you ever been to a foreign country?  Which?  If you haven't, what country would you most like to go?
4. What is one lesson the Lord has been teaching you lately or reinforcing in you?  How has He been working in your life and making you more like Him?
5. What is your favorite movie costume, one you wouldn't mind having for yourself?  Or do you even notice movie costumes at all?  What is your favorite era for period dramas?
6. Give one Scripture reference that has been very special to you over the years, and describe why it means so much to you.
7. Would you rather live in the middle of town, in the suburbs, or in the country?  Why?  Which state would you like to live in most, if you could? 
8. Name one historical figure (missionary, politician, explorer, anyone) and one person you know who has impacted your life in an outstanding way.

Have fun!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend is the last completed novel written by Charles Dickens.  It was published in serial form throughout 1864-5.  Containing many unique and fascinating characters, thought-provoking satirical subplots, and Biblical parallels, it is still read today and even more appreciated today than when it was first written, and has also been made into a six-hour film miniseries by the BBC in 1998.

Dickens’ last novel, and one of his most complex and unique plots, finds its beginnings with a man named Harmon. Harmon was a hard, greedy, and unfeeling man who gained a great fortune in dust mounds. Upon his death, his inheritance is to go to his son John, who has been living abroad for most of his life, on the condition that he marries a woman whom he has never met—one Bella Wilfer. However, at the time that young John Harmon was to return to claim his fortune and his bride, he is reported drowned.

At this unexpected turn of events, the Harmon fortune goes to Mr. Harmon’s most trusted servants, Mr. and Mrs. Nicodemus Boffin, while various people become suspect for the murder of the drowned man. Happy-go-lucky, endearing, and unspoiled Mr. and Mrs. Boffin decide to “go in for fashion” and take in John Harmon’s intended bride, beautiful but mercenary Bella, to help soften the injury at being willed “like a dozen spoons” and at losing a prospective fortune. Joining the Boffins to act as a secretary is a mysterious man called John Rokesmith, who appears to have no back history but who studies Bella quietly and faithfully.
At the same time, a carefree, idle young laywer named Eugene Wrayburn makes attempts to clear Gaffer Hexam, the man who recovered the body of John Harmon, of the suspicion of having done the murderous deed. Not only does he wish to clear Gaffer, but he also finds himself attracted to the man’s modest and gentle daughter Lizzie. He is not the only man attracted to Lizzie’s beauty and sweet temperament; the girl also finds herself followed by her brother’s somewhat psychotic schoolmaster.

In his masterful way, Dickens weaves together a tale so complex and so compelling, and at the same time packed with rich spiritual truths, and all of it finding its center in the “mutual friend” of the title. Approximately 800 pages of reading will sweep you up into a tale consisting of sweet romance, murder mystery, stalkers, the painted lives of high society and the stark realities of riverside London, wealth and poverty, disputed wills, midnight chases, and a vast array of unique characters (some totally loveable and some absolutely detestable).

Not only does Our Mutual Friend commentate on the social ills of the day, but it also portrays a variety of Biblical truths that leap right off the page into the very lives of the readers.  In this story, we see parallels of Christ's relation to the Church (how He draws us and proves us through testing), of faith and trust.  We see the difference between selfishness and contentment, between false love that seeks to gain for oneself and true love that wishes the good for others.  We see the mind of the redeemed, and we see the mind of a murderer.  We see the false expectations of the world and the heart of what truly matters.  Our Mutual Friend gives its readers much to think on and apply.

Our Mutual Friend is, at this point, my favorite Dickens novel (and miniseries), and I highly recommend it!  However, it may not be enjoyable to those who enjoy an easy read, a simple plot, light comedy, and few enough characters to keep track of easily.  Dickens was a writer with a master mind, and reading any book by him is no small undertaking.  However, it is both enjoyable and rewarding. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kirsten's Secret Friend ~ A Photo Story

 I recently made this photo story (with Amanda's help), based on a chapter in the second book of the American Girl Kirsten series by Janet Shaw.  Enjoy! :-)

P.S. I know, my lack of posting is inexcusable... I really just haven't been taking the time to write down my thoughts... Hopefully I'll get some more posts up soon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

~God of Heaven~

We had the wonderful opportunity to see the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team last week. Each evening we heard wonderful, convicting, God-honoring preaching from Mr. Pettit, and each evening we heard stirring, beautiful music from the team. I decided to share a video of one of the songs they sang... it was SOOOOO beautiful. The quality of the video isn't tops, but I hope you will be blessed by the song anyway! (We ordered sheet music for this song, so in a couple days, Lord willing, I will post the words for you to read as you listen. :-) )

P.S. I'm so sorry for my lack of posts lately. I was so busy last week, and was feeling sick yesterday, and just haven't had too much to write. Or perhaps I do have much to write but don't feel like or know how to sit down and write it out. As one writer said, “In every serious human thought born in anyone’s brain there is always something left over which is impossible to communicate to others; not even if you were to write volumes on it for thirty-five years; there will always be something left which cannot be coaxed out of your brain, and which will remain with you forever; you will die with it, without ever communicating to anyone what is perhaps the essence of your thought.” :-)

That said, here's the video:

Monday, October 4, 2010

~A Poem~

O, Lord, how often I forget Thee,
in the fleeing hours of the day!

But when the sun lets forth its hues,
Splendid pinks, golds, and blues,
My thoughts oft' turn back to Thee!

O, Lord, take the keys to my heart and soul,
and keep them safe for Thee,
Lest I, in the passing days and years,
Forget, Thee, the Savior of my soul!

~written by a friend

Poem found at Gabrielle's blog-- thanks, Gabrielle!