Friday, September 30, 2005

Sharing A Good Chuckle With Some Sad News...

Ok, in yet another email I received this link that is rather cute and funny. It is something that even kids can watch, so no worries that it is inappropriate (besides, I wouldn't post anything inappropriate on here anyway). Hope you enjoy!

On a more serious note:

>Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch.

The grave site was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times he still was a crusty old man and was considered a roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had a bun in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Am I A Fireman Now?

I got this email today and wanted to share it. It's another one of those touching kind. I have seen this a number of times and each time I read it, it brings tears to my eyes and shivers down my spine. Hope you enjoy!
HOW BIG OUR GOD IS

Stop telling God how big your storm is.Instead tell your storm how big your GOD is!

In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukaemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfil all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible. The leukaemia would see to that. But she stillwanted her son's dream to come true. She took her son's hand and asked, "Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life? "Mommy, "I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up." Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we canmake your wish come true."

Later that day she went to her local firedepartment in Phoenix, Arizona,where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as bigas Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year old son a ride around the block on a fire engine. Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clockWednesday morning, we'll make him an honoraryfireman for the whole day.We can come down to the fire station, eat with us,go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy --one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast."


Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic's van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also video taped for the local news program. Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed
in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family
members to the hospital. Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital
to be with Billy as he made his transition.The chief replied, "We can do better than that.We'll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favour? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system, that there is not a fire? It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?


About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window. Sixteen fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room. With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.

With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said,"Chief, am I really a fireman now?"

"Billy, you are, and the Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand." the chief said. With those words, Billy smiled and said, "I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been singing." He closed his eyes one last time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Think God Is Speaking To Me....

Ok, well I was just going to post a short note saying that I believe your prayers are working regarding my cold/allergies. I've taken only a couple of cold pills and my symptoms are not really there now...so I believe I am better :o) thanks for the prayers!

Now, last night I was feeling very very stressed out over Hebrew. I hadn't looked at it since last April when school was done. Didn't know they'd be doing an Advanced Hebrew course so I didn't bother to keep up with it. Now I wish I had known so that I could have. We have our first test next week and I am soooo unprepared for it. I'm forgetting things, can't recognize verbs, etc. I can recognize mostly if it is feminine/masculing, singular/plural...but can't always recognize what verb it is. So, naturally me being me I began to panic and get rather upset. I was on the verge of tears thinking "what have I got myself into!" and such things.

Well, I decided after an hour to put it away since I was in no frame of mind to be able to try to translate and I instead tried to focus on God. It was hard. I put on a CD and listned to "Days of Elijah" for 1/2 hour straight...nothing other than that song. Only reason I picked that song was because it was the only one I hadn't heard in awhile and felt like listening to. Anyway, somewhere along the line I was able to take the focus off of myself and put it on God. I went to bed and prayed after the 1/2 hour. I poured out my heart to God, told Him the fears I was having recently regarding school and after I am finished with school, getting into the Education program, etc. Now, here is basically what He said to me (mind you it's a loose paraphrase as I didn't actually hear a voice...but you get the point):

"Ok Shelley, you remember that story you wrote that is being published, the one about Luggage Larry? Honey, unpack your suitcase."

So, guess what I did. I unpacked my suitcase and gave Him my worries and fears. I felt less stressed this morning (which was really when I did this) and most of the day. I found that there were a few times when I had to unpack my suitcase again and again.

I say all this to say that there seems to be a message that God is trying to give me. First there is what I just mentioned, and secondly today and yesterday I have run across a couple of verses that I believe God is wanting me to recall and use in my life. They are:

Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." as well as Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

I believe God is telling me that I need to seek Him in everything. He needs to be first in my life, ahead of school, family, myself and so on. I need to ask Him, seek Him. I need to give Him my problems and struggles, focus on Him and allow Him to work His plan. Whatever happens after I am done my BA (if I get accepted or not into the education program), how I'll do in Hebrew, and the list goes on...these all need to be given to Him and I need to put my trust in Him that He knows what He is doing.

Basically, I need to give God back the control of my life. I need to include Him in every aspect, in decisions, studying, etc. I need to stop trying to do it on my own. I need to stop worrying so much and stressing out. I need to do my best and if I only get a C+ instead of a B+ it's ok because I did my best. You see, I'm one of these people who feel that if I don't get a B- or higher (preferably higher) then I must be dumb. I think that might be a pride issue, but not sure.

So, that is what God has been telling me the last few days. It's going to be hard to do, but I have to do it, and it will probably be one of those on going daily things...probably have to do this several times a day. But the good thing is, God is in control!

Have a blessed and glorious Christ filled day!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Feeling Tired

Well, I think my "allergies" are not allergies, but a cold. I took a Contact C last night because I didn't know what else to take. I had run out of night time sinus stuff which works well and knocks me out and the only thing I had was the Contact C, which is daytime and tends to keep me awake during the night if I take it before bed (it's the 12 hour kind). I did manage to sleep but woke up a few times; not entirely sure if the sleep I did get was restful or not though.

I ended up not going to Bible Study after church (we generally go to my friend's home for the study and have lunch there first and the study around 3pm) because I had too much school work to do and I felt exhausted. My nephew was up, and when he went for his nap I thought I'd be able to do some reading or work on my Hebrew homework...didn't work out that way. I was too tired so I went and had my own little nap. Figured that if I started reading I'd fall asleep anyway.

I woke up 2 hours later...yeah, I hadn't wanted to sleep that long but I guess i must have needed it. I am still somewhat tired, and it is now 10:07 pm (to be exact). I'll be going to bed soon, but I really don't know why I am so tired. The only reason I can figure is that I must be coming down with a cold. I hope not, but I'm prepared...went out and bought some night time sinus/cold pills as well as day time cold pills as a just in case. I'm still hoping I'm just having a doozy of a few days with my allergies, and praying it that if I am getting a cold that I will catch it early enough and fight it off so that it doesn't last very long. I hate being sick...course I don't know of anyone who actually loves to be sick...

I took one of the daytime cold pills in the late afternoon, close to supper time and have only sneezed the odd time though my nose was a little stuffy for a bit. I seem ok now so I think it's just from the medication. I guess I'll know in the next day or so if it really is a cold sneaking up on me. At any rate, I hope to be able to sleep restfully tonight so that I'm not tired during class tomorrow. Thankfully I only have one class and can come home after for a nap if need be.

So, off I go to do a tad bit more reading for school and then head to bed. Hope you all have a Christ filled day tomorrow!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Aaaccchhhoooo!!!

Well, I have been sneezing quite a bit off and on today, and my nose has been a little stuffed up now and then (as it is now), and runny at other times. Wonderful.

It seems that my allergies are acting up...to what I don't know. I am allergic to scented products, dust, pollen and such things. I have a cat, but I don't know if I'm allergic to her or not and even if I was I would suffer and take my allergy pills. I have had allergies for quite a number of years now and I recall going to my doctor this one particular time regarding them. He would not allow me to go for tests to see what I was allergic to because he figured I wanted to get those shots that last a month or something like that. He said it wouldn't matter what I was allergic to because the shots would only work on two or three things at the most and if I were allergic to more things than that, I would still be affected.

I didn't care about the shots; I didn't want to get them. I just wanted to know what I was allergic to. The doctor said that "they" hardly ever send anyone for those allergy tests anymore anyway and just tell their patients to try experimenting with various things to see if that is what you are allergic to. For example, if one thought he or she was allergic to a specific food, that item should be eliminated from the diet for a short period of time to see if things improved.

When you are allergic to scents, it is hard to eliminate them. For example, I know that women's flowery strong perfumes, as well as musky sorts bother me. I don't wear them so I am ok; but I can't control what other women wear for perfume and whether or not they will be around me so I could end up getting stuffed up and start sneezing. If it is pollen that is the culprit, it is hard to lock ones self up in the house 24/7 and not ever go out or allow anyone to come in, open the windows, etc. so that one is not affected by the pollen. Anyway, I had to laugh at the "try eliminating products" suggestion. Yeah dude, I'll get right on that (insert rolling eyes smiley).

Like I said, that was quite a number of years ago. I still have never gone for allergy tests and I still don't know to this day exactly what I am allergic to. I mean, I do know some things, but for all I know there are other things that I don't know about. I take an allergy pill every day, and that does help. However, there are times that things will still bother me (such as sitting in class and having some girl come in 15 minutes late for class and sit beside me with her wearing a really strong stinky smelling perfume that was beginning to get to be long before class was over...but I couldn't do anything as there were no other seats to move to). There are also days that even though I have taken my allergy pill, it feels as though I haven't. This is one of those such days. I took one this morning, and have been bothered off and on today. However, it wasn't all that bad until a few hours ago when the sneezing really begain to pick up.

I am really hoping it is just my allergies, and that I am not coming down with a cold. It certainly doesn't feel like a cold (and I can generally tell when I am getting a cold or if it is allergies). I don't think there are any colds going around school just yet...but you never know. I do wash my hands a lot so that will be a help in keeping those nasty germs away.

Anyway, my nose is beginning to itch now (how annoying on top of the stuffiness, running, and sneezing). I may just take a cold pill (contact c) or something just in case, and pray that I am not getting sick. Hopefully my allergies just felt like getting a real work out today and they will settle down and behave tomorrow. I hate going to church with a stuffy, runny nose and sneezing no matter if it is a cold or allergies.

So in all of this can I be thankful? You bet! I am thankful for nice soft kleenex, allergy pills, and the fact that they don't bother me like this 24/7!!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Always Give Thanks

Well, I am having trouble with blogger block for some reason; trying to think of something really good and interesting or uplifting to post. So, since I can't think of what to write today will be another day to mention more thanks!

Five more things I am thankful for:

1. Socks. Sounds weird to be thankful for sock I know, but when your feet get cold let me tell ya one gets pretty thankful for warm socks! Today was rather cool and rainy and was really the first time since summer began that I have had to wear socks. My feet were cold; I was cold. Mind you I was not middle of winter -25 degrees celcius cold, but more like summer is over and fall is here and time to put on your socks cold. For some odd reason though, I am much warmer now (at 8:35pm) than I was earlier this afternoon so the socks have once again been removed. Makes me kind of sad to have to resort to wearing socks again, but I guess I can live with it.

2. Knitting and Crocheting. I am thankful that the Lord has given me both of these talents. I started out with crocheting quite a number of years ago (probably about 15) but it got put away for many many years. About 5 years ago I pulled it out and began to crochet baby afghans to donate to the local crisis pregnancy center or whomever. I had prayed and asked the Lord how I could use this talent/gift for Him and that is what He told me to do; so I obeyed.

I remember knitting when I was probably 8 or 9, but it was nothing elaborate - just a simple square in order to earn a knitting badge at brownies or girl guides (I think girl guides is something like girl scouts in the States). I couldn't even cast on or off so my mom showed me how to do that. Fast forward to December 2000 when I was at church and saw the mitten tree. I had the strongest desire to learn to knit so that I could make mittens for the tree. Over the next 9-12 months I started out on the path to learning/relearning how to knit. Now I make (when I have the time) scarves, baby items, sweaters for my nephew, attempt to make a couple of sweaters for myself...with crocheting I pretty much only make baby afghans.

3. Hearing. Our hearing is a very important sense to have, and I am thankful that I can hear things like the birds singing, my nephew laughing and learning to talk. I am thankful that I can hear others talking so that I can respond (or not as the case may be). I am thankful that I do not need to use a hearing aid. I am thankful that I can hear people singing praise and worship to our Lord, even those who can't carry a tune. I read a story once in which the person was complaining about various things about the people around him/her in church and it mentioned some woman who sat in back of him/her and couldn't carry a tune when she sang. She sang very very loud. The story went on to say that one should be thankful that they could hear it because there were so many people in the world who can't. Yes, I am most definately thankful that I can hear.

4. Reading. I love to read and have for a long long time now. Though now I mostly read text books and required reading for my classes, I wouldn't get very far if I couldn't do that. I also enjoy sitting down and just reading for the fun of it. I am greatful for those who help others (whether it be children or adults) learn to read. We can't go anywhere really without reading...words are everywhere! If I couldn't read I wouldn't be able to enjoy all the blogs I read, and Lord knows I do enjoy them! Our world is plastered everywhere with signs - traffic signs, directional signs, names of stores, street names...words are everywhere! Reading is important to me, and I always enjoy seeing a small child having his or her mom or dad reading a book to their child(ren); and I enjoy seeing children learning to read themselves. Reading...can't get by without it.

5. Indoor plumbing (toilets). Yes, you read that correctly. I enjoy indoor plumbing/toilets and I am very thankful for that. I am thankful that in this day and age (unless you own a camp with no electricity or plumbing) we do not have to trek outside a small or great distance to some stinky smelly old "water closet" with a moon on the door, especially in the middle of the night or when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing and you have to wade out in waist high snow drifts to get relief...I am thankful as well for the invention of soft toilet paper and the fact that we don't have to use leaves or pages out of old catalogues... 'nuff said on that I think...but none the less, praise the Lord for the person/people who invented indoor plumbing!

And, again I ask...what are you thankful for?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Success!!!

Woo Hoo!! I have success at last!! I finally fixed my blog...yet again. I kind of cheated though. I had to go in and 'create' a new blog with the same template as this one so that I could go and compare what, if anything, was missing or added to my template to mess it up. Turns out as I was trying to get the count down clock thingy up above all fixed on, I somehow managed to delete the line needed in order to keep the lighter pink colour all the way down on the main blog area and the sidebar. Sheesh! So, I did a simple copy and paste job and voile! It worked. Then, I went in and deleted the other blog. Now, if I am smart (the jury is still deliberating on that one), I will do as Nettie suggested and keep a copy of my template cut and pasted in MS Word so that if anything happens again, I will still have it this way...Oh, and thanks to the one (sorry, I forget offhand which one of you it was) who told me how I could center the countdown clock...as you can see, it worked! Thanks again!

Ok...now, to get down and busy posting again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

In Need Of Help Again...

Ok, here is where all you really really smart computer type people can help...I was playing around yet again on here trying to add the above counter (thanks Suzii for posting it on your site so that I could copy you lol) and somehow now I have managed to delete the lighter pinkish colour part way down the screen...if you scroll down you will see what I am meaning.

I really should learn not to play with this lol...however, I see something neat and have to add it. I tried putting it on the sidebar, but it wouldn't fit, and that is when (I think) things messed up. I deleted it from there and played around to get it where it is now, though I'd like it more centered...maybe I'll take it out all together, I don't know...

Anyway, so if any of you talk to someone who could help, please send him/her my way...someone's son was going to help me before but I had managed to figure out the problem...but, now I can't....I need HELP!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sudoku Has Hit!

Have you heard of this Sudoku? Seems to be exploding around here. It is actually a puzzle...a thinking puzzle if you will. My brother introduced this craze to my mom, and she's now hooked! Our local newspaper has, just this week, begun putting this puzzle into their entertainment area (you know the area, the one that contains crossword puzzles, cryptoquotes and the like).

While the puzzle looks easy, there are really three leves: easy, medium and hard. The object is to not repeat any of the same numbers in each horizontal row, each vertical row, or each 9 box section. Each number from 1 to 9 is used only once per row/box. To see an example and/or try your hand at this, please check out the following link. Once you see the puzzle, the rules will no doubt make sense, but just in case they have them written there as well. Another site that you might want to check out (though admittedly I only looked at it briefly) is here.

While you apparently don't need to be very intelligent in math to do this puzzle, thinking is of the essence. Our newspaper said that it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to solve. I haven't tried this myself just yet, but as I said my mom has. She loves it and gets my father or someone to print off a copy of a different puzzle everyday so she can solve it. I think the first link I provided may be the one she uses. She's gotten very good at solving the easy puzzles, and the medium ones are fast becoming easy for her. She has lately been working on the hard and very hard ones. She has also 'claimed' the one that will be now appearing daily in our newspaper as hers to do. No one can touch it...though I'm sure if someone attempted to solve it before she could get to it, she wouldn't harm him/her.

Idon't yet know how big this craze is, but apparently it has a huge following in Japan (where it originates I guess). Some day I may try my hand at Sudoku (maybe when I don't have so much school work to do and can spend time on it), but for now I will watch as everyone else grows agitated and frustrated, at their attempts to solve the puzzle, and hand out the Advil or Tylenol...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Dart Test

Another great email...makes one think.

Dart Test

A young lady named Sally , relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, Dr. Smith. She says that Dr. Smithwas known for his elaborate object lessons.One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for a fun day.On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr. Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person's picture.Sally's friend drew a picture of who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Sally was pleased with the overall effect she had achieved.

The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats. As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target.

Dr. Smith began removing the target from the wall.Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced.Dr. Smith said only these words...

" In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have
done it unto Me." Matthew 25:40


No other words were necessary; the tears filled eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I Am Thankful For...

Today, I thought that I would focus on some things that I am thankful for. I think it is important that we give thanks for all things and all situations, and so I'd just like to share a few things here:

1. I am thankful for laughter. I love to laugh and I love to hear other's laugh, especially children and mostly my little two year old nephew. He's got such a cute laugh and it is highly contagious! Today for example, he jumped up in my rocking chair and slung his little leg over the arm. I pretended to be annoyed at this and told him not to do that, then came over and put his leg back on the seat where it should be. He would laugh and as I turned around, back his leg goes over the arm. I'm telling you we played this little 'game' for about five minutes and he was laughing so hard over it.

If you want a laugh, I highly recommend Bonnie's recent post about public bathrooms and women over at http://bonniescalhoun.blogspot.com . Trust me, I was laughing so hard at this one...it's a clean story, so no worries. Ladies will probably find it a thousand times more funny than the men, but I'm sure the men will laugh too!

2. I am thankful for my sight. I don't have the best vision, but with the help of my contacts and glasses (I don't wear my glasses in public anymore though, just at home) I am able to see. I know there are people out there with worse vision than mine, as well as no vision at all. I am thankful that glasses and contacts have been invented to help me be able to see a whole lot better than if I didn't have them. God has provided a means for me (and countless number of others) to be able to see with glasses and/or contact lenses. Someday I will not need them ever again and my vision will be restored, but until that time, I am thankful for being able to see with optical help.

3. I am thankful that I live in a free country and that I can worship and praise my Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ openly and freely. I am thankful that I do not have to do this in hiding or in an underground church. I am thankful that I do not get thrown in jail, tortured or even killed for my faith and belief. I can walk into my church without worry or fear that someone is going to come in and kill us or drag us off to jail. This, to me, is something to truly be thankful for since there are a lot in the world who suffer through this sort of thing every day.

4. I am thankful for my family and friends. God has gifted me with wonderful loving parents and two great brothers (though we've had our fair share of fights and arguments like all brothers and sisters do). Added to this is a sister-in-law and future sister-in-law as well as my sweet little nephew. God has gifted me with friends who love Jesus so much, care about others and band together when one of us is hurting or in trouble of sorts. There are strong Christians in my church who are great examples, men and women not ashamed of Jesus, not afraid to help or offer a suggestion or advice when needed. I am thankful that God directed me to the church I attend. He has me there for a reason, what that is I have no idea, but I do know this was the church He wanted me to attend.

5. I am thankful for living in an area of the world that experiences four distinct seasons. Fall is coming and the leaves are already changing colour. I love the look of the trees with the reds, yellows, oranges of fall...simply a work of art our Lord has created! Sure, I complain about winter and don't care all that much for it, but when I look out the window and see snow falling at night, or see the snow resting on the boughs of the evergreen trees, it is simply such a peaceful sight; so beautiful. Spring is so new and fresh...the new birth of the trees, well at least the leaves and blossoms, flowers start to grow, grass starts to turn from the dead brown from winter and snow to green...you get the picture. It's like the world starts waking up after hibernating all winter. And summer, I love going barefoot around the house, not having to wear socks, and just slipping my feet into sandles and not tying up laces...one thing though, I do NOT go barefoot in the grass. It's a phobia or something I have...there are bugs in grass and I don't want to step on any...I used to go all the time barefoot in grass when I was young but somewhere along the line I developed this phobia or whatever it is. I don't ever recall stepping on any bugs in the grass...oh well, I guess I just wouldn't be me if I didn't have this fear.

Well, I will stop here at five. I challenge all who read this to stop and think about five things they are truly thankful for, and list them...either in the comments section or on your own blog page. Go for it...be thankful for something today!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Living For Whom?

I just finished reading Steve's blog over at http://jubalingen.blogspot.com and something he said hit home and made me stop and think. He said (and I quote):


"I will say that ever since I started living for something other than
myself I started to change. My perception of WHO God is finally changed. My
perception about LOVE and what that really is changed."

Steve started to change when he started living for God and not himself. As I reflect on my own life, I really wish that I could say I live my life totally for God and not for myself.

Truth is, most often it seems like I am living for myself. I am ashamed to admit that I am more of a selfish, "self" centered person that I would like to be. I do know that this is a constant struggle for me, but that only with God's help can I live a life for Him and not myself. I don't know what holds me back from doing so, but I suspect it is fear of some sort...maybe fear of what God might want me to do, fear of failing in what God wants me to do...I suspect the fear comes from satan though, and not necessarily of myself.

One of my prayers is that I become more of a godly woman, living my life for Him. Why is it that I seem to find it so hard to do this? I have the desire...but when it comes down to it I guess (besides any fear) I just don't know what I need to do in order to live more for Him.

Maybe I need to start with something like choosing not to watch something on TV that isn't very godly (not that I watch a lot of TV or shows that are 'bad', but there are the occasional things that I know wouldn't glorify God...), choosing not to go to a movie that I don't particularly agree with its content (too much sex or violence for example)...I also don't get to go to very many movies...maybe instead of listening to someone "discuss" someone else I should just walk away. There could be a number of "little" things I could do to start this process. I guess the point I am trying to make is that maybe I need to be more bold for Christ than I am, be willing to be laughed at or made fun of for not partaking in things that don't glorify God, or being heckled for even simply just being a Christian.

I seem to be making myself out to sound like some Godless person, someone with no morals or faith or someone who is 'wishywashy' or whatnot. I don't think I am, but I do struggle (as we all do) with this. I guess I need to put the focus on God more so than I do, rather than putting it on me. Afterall, it is God who should be praised, worshipped and glorified...nothing I can do or say will ever come remotely near to making me be worth those things.

What I do and say should be a reflection of Jesus in my life. As I read in a couple of blogs this week, we just might be the only Bible someone reads. If I am not living a life worthy of the Lord, then that will reflect on Him. If I reflect the Lord in my life, that too will reflect on Him. I have a choice to make everyday on how I will act, what I will say, and whether or not it will be something that glorifies Him.

I seem to be going around in circles and not making much sense as I try to figure this out in my head (or rather typing it out on my blog). It's like the answer is right in front of me but I am not seeing it...or I am trying to make more out of it than I should. No, I am not perfect - far from it - but I do know that I need to stop living for myself and start living for God. I need to do what He wants me to do, and that might be doing something that I don't necessarily want to do. I might need to step out of my comfort zone (I think that is a bit of a problem I have as well)...So, I look to godly men (like Steve) and women for guidance and help along the path, for examples of how to live for the Lord rather than myself.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I am not sitting here feeling sorry for myself or upset that I am not perfect. I am not angry or bitter that I am not "as good" as someone else, and I'm not comparing myself to anyone else either(well, maybe I am comparing a little). On the contrary, I think God has spoken to me through Steve's post on his blog. He (God) is wanting me to be more like Jesus, to love as He loved, to live as He lived and not be selfish. I agree totally with Steve in that when we live for the Lord and not ourselves, our outlook on life, on people, on situations, etc., will change.

So, after saying all of this, I need to start somewhere...but where? (just feel the fear crackling in the air around me now) I want to do this, but at the same time I guess I am afraid of what God will tell me to do...

Ok Shelley, suck it up and as the old Nike commercials used to say...Just do it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Just Reporting In...

Well, I just thought since it has been a few days since I last posted that I'd pop in to let everyone know I'm still around, just busy.

School is going pretty good so far. I just came from my drawing class tonight and am feeling a little excited about it. Mind you, I still can't draw but we actually have stuff to practice this week...one of the assignments being drawing horizontal and then vertical (on another piece of paper) lines with varying degrees of dark and light lines. This whole exercise is to get us to use your arm from the shoulder area instead of using from our wrists or elbows. It's tiresome, but is a good exercise in helping to get straight lines instead of curved ones.

We also did a few exercises where we would start out drawing something particular using this sort of random hen-scratch like lines on the paper (no details) and then after about 45 seconds (sometimes only 30 seconds) he would get us to switch and we would go to the next person's drawing and do the same thing trying to get something into what they were...this would go on a few times and then he would get us to switch and then add detail to the drawing and then switch another couple of times...it was a fun exercise. Have lots of homework in this for next week's class.

My other classes are going well so far...thought we've only just begun. I've gone to see the prof who teaches Colonial America already just to get some idea from him on options I should choose (in doing the book reviews, paper, exam) because I'm scared to death of this course...but now that I've talked to him and will be able to get help from him on those things I am feeling a little better now.

I'm really enjoying my 1 Samuel class so far and the prof is great. He's the same prof who teaches my Advanced Hebrew class and he's having us read/translate 1 Samuel so I kind of get a bit of review which, I fee, will help me.

I've got a lot of reading to do, and have read a lot so far, but haven't made a dent into the pile yet. My first book review is due October 4th and this book is 464 pages...I'm nearly to page 100 (the print is on the smallish side, so while it doesn't seem to be a lot, there is a lot on each page), plus I've read the introduction which isn't included in the 464 pages, but we are required to read.

So, I'd better head off now and go do some more reading or practice my Hebrew. God bless one and all!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Another Great Email To Share

The Ant and the Contact Lens: a true story

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.
She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."
She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."
I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him....I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Beautiful Flower In A Broken Pot

I got this email today, and just thought I'd share it with you all...hope you enjoy it!



Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door.

I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old." I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning." He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face... I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..."

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind."

I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen! He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice.. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a green-house, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!"

My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven.

"Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body."

All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart."
(1 Samuel 16:7b)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Another First Day

Today was another first day of classes. Today's classes were on 1 Samuel, Colonial America, and Advanced Hebrew.

1 Samuel was interesting today. The prof that teaches that course is also the same one who teaches Advanced Hebrew. I learned things today in 1 Samuel that I would have never even thought of, such as comparisons he had made (such as the Hebrew word for 'ask' is 'saul' which is the name of the first king over Israel - remember that the people had asked for a king and it was Saul whom God chose for them). I hope the rest of the semester is as interesting as it was today. Our text book (if you could call it that) was written by the prof, but so far according to the syllabus, it doesn't mention if we do a book review on it or that it is just "extra" assigned reading for certain classes or what...I'm sure I'll find out though.

Colonial America scares me. While some aspects of this course I find interesting, all in all I was feeling rather anxious and as though I would hyperventilate while we went over the syllabus. We have to do a group presentation and teach the class on a specific topic (there are 5 groups and he will pretty much put the groups together. He's supposed to let us know next class.). I hate presentations...ok, maybe not hate but really really really strongly dislike. We have three books to read (one is a little over 400 pages of smallish print) and a term paper. We have a choice in how to do the paper and book reviews. The first option is this: a term paper of no less than 3000 words, do a book review on each book (can either do it in advance to be handed in, or come to class the day it is due and write it in the alloted time for the class) and have no final exam. Our other option (which he recommends for non-history majors) is a term paper of no less than 2000 words, read all three books but only do 2 book reviews (same thing as the other, either do it in advance or that day), plus the final exam. I am at a loss on which I should do. I like the idea of not having a final exam. I don't really like the book reviews as I never am really sure if I am doing it right...with this alone I am told by a history major that this prof wouldn't be marking the book reviews as strictly if you do it the day of the class instead of doing it in advance and handing it in, because you don't have as long to write as you would if you did it at home. The paper I wouldn't be overly worried about. I enjoy the 2000 word count, but I'm sure I could get a 3000 one done as well. But, I am going to play it safe and go and see the prof next week after class to discuss it all with him to see what he would recommend that I do.

Advanced Hebrew wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be...at least today wasn't. We are going to be going through 1 Samuel (I'm lucky that I get this in both classes as he tells stuff in the Hebrew class that was mentioned in 1 Samuel class, so I get a little review that will hopefully help me along the way as well). Today we listened to and translated the first 10 verses of 1 Samuel 1 and while I couldn't remember all the words (and of course there were plenty that I didn't know because we never took them last year) I didn't do too badly. In this class we will have 2 tests and a final exam and on all 3 of these we will be translating a paragraph (or several) and probably parsing some verbs...so I'd better start my reviewing of this stuff so that I can do well.

I also spoke to someone in the registrar's office today about my classes. I wanted to make sure that I have all of the required classes I need in order to graduate this year. I am fine and was able to even drop one of the history classes I was going to take next semester. However, I need to email her and ask her about my minor in history, to see if I have enough courses for it...if not I might have to end up taking that history class. Though, I hope I don't have to because then I'll only have 3 classes next semester. My drawing prof was saying that he is trying to get someone to come in next semester and teach watercolour painting which I would love (I took a few lessons in that on my own a few years ago), so hopefully that won't be on a Wednesday evening, otherwise I wont be able to take it due to conflicting schedule...we'll see.

Well, I have tomorrow off, thankfully, as this year I don't have any courses on Fridays at all...wooo hooo!! Gotta like that...now I need to train myself to actually DO some homework on Fridays (would like to use it especially to do my tons of reading that is required)...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

First Day Of Classes

Well, today was the first day of classes. I had two; one from 11:50 til 1:05 then went home and had to go back for 6:45 til 9:30.

The first class is on the Reformation in Europe and I think that is going to be interesting, yet tough in that there will be a lot of notes and such. There is a book review to be done on the life of John Calvin and a presentation and term paper. The presentation is actually going to be done on the topic we chose for our term papers. I chose to do mine (if I can remember correctly...am too lazy to go get the info right now) on eschatology/end times and how it related to the reformation...something like that.

My second class, the one that starts at 6:45, is on the Fundamentals of Drawing. It is basically for those who can't draw (that's why I signed up for it) and helps you learn to use the right side of your brain in this. The book we are using is called Drawing For The Right Side Of The Brain and I forget who the author is. The prof said that there is no such thing as someone who can't draw (obviously he hasn't seen me draw...), but said that it is a learned skill. I suppose though that some learn it easier than others...I don't know. But, we are to keep everything we draw from practice drawings to assignments and he will be able to tell if we have done our homework (reading appropriate chapters in the book and practicing). We will also be able to see the progression from day one until the last day. He said there are no tests or exams in this, so I am loving this class so far! It is something that will have to be practiced and we are to do at least one practice drawing a day, starting next week once we have gotten our supplies.

Tomorrow I will have the other three courses I have signed up for. The first is on 1 Samuel, the second on Colonial America, and the third is Advanced Hebrew. I will have the same prof for 1 Samuel and Advanced Hebrew. I have heard horror stories about the prof for Colonial America. He goes to my church and is a great man, but I guess he is a hard prof...expects a lot and likes to make you think too much. I don't like to "think" if it is something I don't know about...which is this course. I will definately need prayers for this class...

Anyway, my first class is at 8:30 in the morning so I am going to end this blog entry here so that I can get a bit of reading done before bed. God bless you all!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gettin' Owly

One thing I noticed just recently on the porch of the neighbours who live directly behind us...they have started displaying one of those plastic or wooden owls. For the last number of years we have had bird feeders in our yard, though mainly on the back patio, to attract the birds. We were getting quite a few little ones such as gold finch and chickadees, as well as larger ones like blue jays. So, since I've noticed the neighbours fake owl (used to keep birds away), there haven't been as many around. We have also been in the process of building a new patio as the otherone was starting to fall apart. That may also have something to do with it because we had the bird feeders down for a few weeks.

However, we now have feeders up again but there have only been at the most a handfull of birds using them...and that isn't at once. Maybe it's because we have different feeders now and they were used to the other ones. The main one the finches and chickadees used was designed specifically for finches and they had to hang upside down to get the food out of little holes. The ones we have now are home made from 2L pop bottles with two of the sides cut out.

I have seen these fake owls around the city before, and they were mainly being used to scare away pigeons. However, you always see the birds around them. I think, or hope, that the birds come to realize after awhile that these owls don't move and they are actually quite safe.

It's a real shame to me that people would try to keep the birds away. I mean, sure they can make a mess with their...um....droppings but they are so pretty to watch. I love to hear them singing and watch them at the feeders...my little two year old nephew is fascinated with them as well. I do hope that if our neighbours keep that owl up, that the birds don't stop coming to our house. It will be a real shame.

Oh well, what's a person to do?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tomorrow Is The Big Day...Sorta!

Tomorrow is the first day back to university after the summer holidays. Well, actually it isn't the first day of classes, that starts on Wednesday. Tomorrow is when the real fun happens. It's registration day!!! I get to sit in an assembly, which thankfully isn't generally more than 1/2 an hour to hear the same things said in all assemblies of the past (talking about who the student council is, what certain people have specific jobs at the school such as who the person responsible for dorm life is...forget his/her title, but it doesn't affect me anyway since I live off campus and other things like that...as well as reminding us about where to park and that you need a parking pass by a certain date, reminding us that we need to have all classes picked by a certain point and when the last day to drop classes is....all those wonderful things.

Next I get to proceed through the throng of people waiting in line (seems like you wait an hour, but depending on how many people are in front of you it can be 2 minutes or 20 minutes) to get a few sheets of paper telling me when my classes are and where, as well as a sheet to get marked off by heads of sections that we need to go to...such as if we are getting a locker, if we need to pay tuition, yearbook photo, and other weird and wacky things. This can also take a long time depending on how many people are in front of you.

Thankfully, I do not need to take a yearbook photo this year. I graduate, so I just need to worry about getting grad pics at some point later on. So, by a certain as of yet not specified time (which I'm sure I will be finding out over the next little while), I will have to get my grad photos taken. I don't like photos, unless they are of other people. Why? Because I don't like the way I look in pictures. Besides, I'm scared I will break the camera and I can't afford to replace it...

Tomorrow and/or the next day I will be purchasing my text books. That is going to put a serious dent in my student loan. I don't know yet how much things will cost, but I do know it will be a LOT. I am lucky though that I don't have to purchase my book and work kit thingy for my Fundamentals of Drawing class, because I bought them last year when I was going to take the course then...it got cancelled because the prof had had a heart attack a couple weeks before school started. I have two history classes each semester, and from what I know, history text books are NOT cheap! Not sure if we will have a text for Advanced Hebrew or if we will just be reading and translating from the Bible (the Hebrew Bibles we got last year in Beginner's Hebrew).

I am kind of excited about going back to school. I have always been that way...you get new books, new scribblers, new pencils and pens...everything is fresh and crisp! Then, after things get going for a couple of weeks, that excitement wears down and I start looking forward to the holidays.

This year I seem to be a little less excited and a lot more "nervous" because this is my fourth and final year for my Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. There will be longer reports, more reading, extra student fees to pay...and much more. I think as well, the reality that "this is it" is sinking in. I will be getting my degree after four long and hard years, however, I will be applying for the Bachelor of Education as well to go on to become a teacher...so really I will still have two more years of schooling to do...

But, tomorrow is the big day...the start of a new school year. Please pray for me about this as I want to do my best and glorify God, and not feel as stressed out as I usually get.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I Am Struggling

After reading my friend's blog (http://whatismymission.blogspot.com) and seeing the honesty she puts behind her posts, and the lack of fear of not holding back, I have felt the need to be a little more like that as well. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have been honest in my posts but I generally direct them as more of a "general" sort of writing. In otherwords, I will direct it as "as Christians, we should/need...." instead of "I am struggling with this myself". So, here is my attempt at my admission to a struggle I have been facing lately.

I am struggling with feeling close to God. Oh I know that He is always with me, that He never leaves me. I know that when there is a lack of closeness it is on my part. I have not been reading my Bible the way I should (I read it but don't meditate/think on it), my prayer life has been lacking (in my opinion) and I have not been the servant that the Lord wants me to be. It feels more of a head knowledge rather than a heart knowledge...if that makes sense.

Bible reading: I read my Bible, though there are days that go by when I don't. Sometimes it can be many days that I don't get into it, and other times it is only a day or two where I don't pick it up. Now, I am told in the Bible that I should be meditating on scripture. My understanding of this is that rather than just read and put the Bible aside and not think about what I have read, I need to mull it over in my mind. I need to think about the words and what they mean. I need to examine the text to see how that can apply to my life, my situations. And this is where I am failing lately. Now, there are times that I do this but that is usually when it is something that really stands out to me. As of late however, I seem to just be reading and not applying what I have read (or even just thinking it over).


Prayer: Yes, I do pray. I have been praying so much for little Rebekah (http://rebekahspage.blogspot.com) as well as when I see another prayer request in a blog I will pray for that. I am part of a prayer chain at my church and when the requests come in I pray for those. I will also pray for other people/things/needs, etc. However, my problem with prayer seems to be in that it all seems to me as though it is coming from the head and not the heart (though rest assured that special requests such as Rebekah's ARE from the heart!). What I mean, is that often times I feel as though I am saying the same words over and over and they have lost any meaning.

When I pray, I like to give praise, give thanks, ask forgiveness, pray for others and pray for myself. Some days it seems as though I do more praying for myself than others. While I know this is ok because I am allowed to pray for myself, I feel as though I am being a little too selfish in this respect. My praise to/for God seems to be the same words echoed over each time (God You are awesome and wonderful, mighty and magnificent...), and while I do mean them, it seems as though there are other things or ways I should be doing to praise Him. Same thing with thanks. There is so much to be thankful for but I seem to thank Him for the same things...other things will escape my mind as I think what I am thankful about (unless something happens that day that I can be thankful about).

I also seem to do more talking in this area than listening. Part of a conversation (with God or anyone) is to talk AND listen. I mean, when I talk to someone on the phone I don't spew out all my news and stuff and then say goodbye and hang up without letting them speak...so why do I do that with God? If I want to hear Him speak to me, I need to be quiet and listen. I try, I really do...but I don't think I am hearing Him.

Servanthood: Jesus tells me in His word that I need to become like a servant, become humble. He did this, and I am to imitate Him. It's a hard thing to do. I try. I attempt, and I can succeed...but often times I shy away from it for some reason. It's not just in the area of me doing for others, but it's also in allowing others to do for me. But, I need to focus on being a servant to others. I know these sorts of things is not what earns me eternal life. But out of obedience to Him, I should be wanting to do these things, for Him (not for me).

I guess it comes down to obedience. I had felt very close to God at one time, about three or four years ago, for a period of time. Then, I went through a great period of depression or something where I couldn't even find it in me to pray. God and I have talked about this many times. It has been since this episode about 2-3 years ago that I have been finding the struggle great in obtaining that closeness I once had. It's hard, and I know that no one said it would be easy. I have moments when I feel close to Him, though.

Maybe I am experiencing a satanic attack, a spiritual battle or maybe God is trying to break me and humble me and mold me into what He wants me to be right now. There have been a couple of things that have been on my mind that I am seeking what He wants of me in these situations and I just don't know what He wants. I just can't seem to hear Him, I just don't know what I need to be doing for these situations (if I should be doing anything at all). It's hard, and one of my "fears" (I guess you could call it), is that I am going to backslide...which is something I do NOT want to happen. I have spent time away from God and it was hell, literally. I don't want to go there again. That is why I need to do something about it.

I know that I am not perfect and will never be in this lifetime...but that shouldn't stop me from wanting to be obedient in what He says I need to be obedient in. As I said, this is something I am struggling through lately. I just long for the closeness I once had, and to be even closer. My desire is to be a godly woman, strong in the faith, willing to be obedient to the Lord, etc
. I fear that I fall greatly away from this...I just feel as though I am failing at what I attempt.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

There is no fear in love. God loves each and every one of His children. He does not fear us, nor does He want us to fear Him. Yes, we are to fear Him in regard to showing Him respect. This is not the type of "fear" that is being referred to here in this passage. The type being referred to here is that of being scared and afraid.

But perfect love drives out fear. Who alone is perfect? Jesus is. Jesus' love for us can help us to drive out any fears we may have. All we need do is to give Him our trust and faith. He will not hurt us or harm us...He loves us! If we put our trust in the Lord, He will help us to stand up to our fears and face them. This will make us stronger, and will help us to deal with other fears we will face in the future. It will help us to know that we can face them and overcome them with the help of Jesus.

Because fear has to do with punishment. As children, we were punished by our parents for being bad. I am not referring here to those who were abused in one way or another by their parents. I am referring to disobeying our parents which would result in punishment such as being spanked, grounded, having privledges taken away, or however else our parents may have punished us. I think one reason we fear the Lord is that we know we have done wrong, that we have disobeyed and committed sins. It is natural to think that He is going to punish us and we think the worst at those times. Yes, He will punish us, but He does it with love. We sin, and therefore are responsible for that. We need to realized that we will have to pay the consequences for what we do. For example, we steal money from the bank, we know we will pay the consequence of going to jail; we take part in sexual activity outside of marriage, we may have to pay the consequence of a disease or maybe pregnancy...the list goes on. The Lord does not want us to fear Him in regard to this. He wants us to know and understand and accept that He will punish us for our sins, but He punishes out of love...so that we will respect Him and turn away from the sins we commit. If we realize that we will be punished for our sins, maybe that is a way to help us to turn away fro them...also remember that this process also helps us to grow in our spiritual walk with Him.

The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We are not perfect, and we do fear things, people and situations. I do not think there is a person alive who does not fear one thing or another at one time. We come up to a situation we have never been through, and we fear possible outcomes. Storms pop up and we fear that our house may be hit by lightning. We come across a snake and fear being bitten (even if we know it isn't a harmful type)...again, the list goes on of what we may fear. The point is, Jesus Christ is made perfect in love. He does not fear, and if we trust in Jesus, there is no need for us to fear. I think we will always fear something, but I believe that if we trust in Him, He can and will help us to stand up to those fears and overcome them. Then we will know that when faced with those situations or people again, we will not fear them because we will know we overcame them previously, and can overcome them again...with the help of Jesus Christ.

I would like to note that satan thrives on our fear. He wants us to be afraid. When we are fearful, we are not trusting in God, and not doing His work. Satan loves for that to happen! Don't let satan win over your life...don't let him thrive on your fear. As it says in James 4:7 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you." I believe that doing this will cause satan to flee from us, and thus our fears will cease as well.