Sunday, April 30, 2006

Chronicles of Narnia

Ok, I am sure this subject has been beaten to death with a stick many times over since the movie came out awhile back. However, I finally was able to see it this afternoon.

This was my first exposure to the movie, as well as the series in general. I have heard about the Narnia books, and have been aware of them for some time. I was informed that the other books are adventures these same kids take in the wardrobe as well, though I am not as aware of the titles or what they are about.

I enjoyed the movie, and I think it is good for older kids to watch...younger kids could as well, though I don't think the battle scenes are particularly something they need to see. It is also a good movie for adults to watch, in my opinion.

I love how C. S. Lewis used symbolism throughout the movie, relating to Jesus, etc. I feel fairly certain in saying that any Christian wouldn't (or shouldn't) have any difficulty picking the symbolism out. Non-Christians might not be able to as well (or maybe at all), unless they are aware of what the movie is really depicting. I know my brother (who is 30 and does not follow Christ) knows about this series, and was surprised that it was full of Chrisitan symbolism. He said he didn't know it was "a Christian movie" (his words). I think he had/has more knowledge of these books than I do, and may have read the book(s) at some point.

Anyway, I have often wondered what the difference is between such a fantasy movie/story as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and that of Harry Potter. My friend and I had a discussion on this once back before the movie had been released, and she had been reading the book to her young daughter. I posed the question basically because I didn't know anything about the Narnia books, but I do know what Harry Potter is all about. I asked what the difference would be, since both seem to include witches and some form of "magic". My friend responded by saying that maybe the difference lies in the fact that in the HP books, they try to disguise magic/spells, etc. as being good and that there is nothing wrong with it. In The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, magic and witches are bad/evil.

Now, I admit that I have listened to the HP books. But don't hate me. I read them so that I would know what they are about and so that I could be informed when discussing them with non-Christians (or even Christians) and be able to explain what the big deal is and why many Christians are opposed to them. I didn't want someone to say something to the effect of, "well, you haven't read them so how can you know what they are about or if they are so bad or not." So, I went ahead (praying before hand for the Lord to guard my heart and mind) and listened to them. I know what it is about, I know that they condone magic and spells and sorcery. I also know what the Bible says about these things, that we are not to have any part in these things. Was I wrong then in listening to these books? I don't know. I am sure some will think that I am some sort of heathen or something, but truly that is not their judgment call to make. Have I taken part in any magic or spell chanting or whatever? No way.

So, Narnia. With regard to the magic used by the witch in this movie (I guess you could call how she turned everything to winter and what she did with those she didn't like a form of magic), it is portrayed, in my opinion, as sinister and wrong. Though, this has just got me wondering with the whole "potion" thing given to the little girl (sheesh, I forget her name already), the one she uses on her brother, Edmond. How is that different; how can that be good? Or, is this 'potion' supposed to be symbolic of something?

In HP, the things that we know are evil (magic, spells) are portrayed as being good, fine, nothing wrong with them unless you use it for the wrong purposes. In the Narnia book, evil is exactly what it is - evil. Narnia shows you the difference between good and evil, while the HP books show you that there is evil, but instead of combating it with good, more evil is used - though it is disguised as good.

Anyway, I think I'm just rambling now so I am going to stop. Again, I don't know if I am making any sense with this post and I am sure that I will get comments on being judgmental against the HP books, or that I am bad for even reading them. I'm sure I'll even get comments saying that I shouldn't even compare the two series at all. But, you know what? It's my blog and I can do what I want!

Have a Christ filled day!

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Few Great Blogs

There are a lot of great blogs "out there". Here are a few you may have missed.

Happy Dance Blog

Good Like a Medicine

Show Them Through Me

These are great Christian blogs, so please check them out and let them know I sent ya. I don't get any commission or anything from sending you there. I do get to pass on a few great blogs that you might not have come across yet.

Anyway, I hope you decide to visit. Have a wonderful Christ filled day!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It Is Finished!

Indeed it is! Yep, it is finished. "What is finished?" You may ask. Well, I probably don't need to tell you, but I need a blog entry so guess what...I'm going to tell you anyway!

Exams are finished. School is finished.

Wow, I can hardly believe it. The last four years have flown by for the most part; though there were times that dragged by. It's hard to believe that this chapter of my life is over, and the next one is soon to begin. Wow - I guess I said that already...

I guess part of the reason why it might not feel like the year is over is because I only had one written exam this semester. I had a take home that was due last week, and my other course (I was only taking 3 this semester) didn't have any exam (there were several reports to hand in, three tests, a paper and a presentation, and class mark that made up that one. Those in the first semester of that course had to write a little test/exam, but we don't because the prof incorporated the 3 tests instead...the first semester didn't have any tests).

I had my exam in 2 Samuel tonight and I think I did fairly well. There were 20 short answer questions and 3 essay questions. I think I got the short answers all correct, though there are a couple that I'm not totally sure on, so I think I got at least 18 of them for sure. As for the essay, two of them I wrote a lot on and hope that they answered the questions enough, and the third one I didn't get as much written on but my mind was drawing a blank so I wasn't going to sit and fret over it. Well, regardless of how I did, it's over and I can't change anything.

Funny. This doesn't bother me at all like the interview did. Both are over and in the past now and I can't change either, yet with the interview afterwards I fretted over the answers I gave; with this it doesn't bother me at all. Like I said, funny.

So, now as I wait to hear the results of the interview for the B.Ed., I also wait to start work on May 8. I purposely chose that date because it is after graduation (which is May 6) and it also gives me some time to just veg and relax before going back to work.

My job is the same one I go to every summer, the one I quit so that I could go to school. I'm pretty lucky that they let me come back, because if I couldn't then I would have to rely on a minimum wage job more than likely and that would not help with school very much.

Anyway I am off to surf the net for a little bit and then probably do some guilt free knitting! I am so looking forward to that! I can knit all day if I want on my break before work. I'm hoping to get a few projects done that I've been slow with because of school, and I am wanting to start making Kristina's daughter a sweater as well (need to get a couple more balls of yarn for it though because it turns out I didn't get quite enough).

Hope you have a Christ filled day!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Interview Is Over

My interview for the B.Ed. program is now over. There was approximately half an hour of question answering in front of a panal consisting of two of the education profs and the woman who is the coordinator of the education program (she didn't ask any questions, but listened and jotted things down from time to time). One of the professors did most of the talking and asking questions, and then the other explained what the education program entails, the amount of work involved in the first year, etc.

The second part consisted of being given a question and having to write on it. The coordinator of the program took me to another room and explained the writing assignment. On the way to do this, she commented that she thought I did well.

At the time, and for a short while afterwards, I felt that I did not do too badly. However, now I am having second thoughts and doubts that I didn't answer the questions well enough or with the "right" answers.

The coordinator told me that we won't find out until early June whether or not we are accepted. She also said that the size of the envelope doesn't matter (she said that people think that if they get a thin letter it means they didn't get in, and if it is thick then they did because it would be filled with info on the course, etc.), that regardless of the answer, the envelope will be thin.

Well, this is now in God's hands, and I can't do anything about it - I can't go back in time to change my answers or anything. So, I am going to try to not worry about it - but that will only happen if I give the situation to God. He is the only one who can give me the strength to deal with this (and the results, regardless of what they are). If I try to rely on my own strength, I can guarantee you that I will run out quickly, and I will also continue to worry and fret over this. So, God...please take it!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Work of My Hands

So, what have I been doing lately? Well, let's see...I just finished up my take home exam for my communication disorders class (don't think I did it very well) a little while ago. I now have left to write just one exam, and that is on 2 Samuel. I am not too worried about this exam though, as I am doing pretty well in the class.

I have my interview for the Bachelor of Education program; that is coming up on April 24th (this coming Monday), and I've been doing some praying for it. I'm not really sure what to expect even though I have talked to some of the students in the program already and they have given me some examples of questions they have asked in the past. These types of questions are the ones I hate - they make you think! What is your greatest and weakest quality/characteristic; if you could change one thing about the school system what would it be; what makes you think you would be a good teacher...those kind of questions just make chills run up and down my spine!

Next, is graduation. That is on May 6. I am excited to graduate, yet nervous. The last four years have, in general, gone by fairly quickly. It scares me that student loan debt is great and that I will only be adding more to it in the next two years and when I get out, I am sure my monthly payment is going to be high. However, I can't worry about that. I feel the Lord has called me to be a teacher, and He will provide for me and help me to be able to pay off the debt.

I've also called into work today (technically now that it's past midnight it was yesterday that I called) and let them know when I am available to come back for the summer. I didn't get to speak with the supervisor I normally do, but this one said she will leave a message with the manager and they will get back to me. She said she thinks they will probably need me (people going on vacations and such), but the question is when (they might not need me until vacations start, which is usually the beginning of June). I am not worried about this though, so that is good.

Now, to get to the title of my post...the work of my hands (since my blog is titled Confirm the Work of Our Hands) - I thought I could use a little confirmation, or give some confirmation that my hands have indeed been working (oh great, by putting this in my blog I can just imagine the kind of things people will type into their search engines to get this!). Anyway, I have been doing a lot of knitting - some for me (a couple pairs of socks) and most for others (things I will probably put on/under the mitten tree at church next Christmas). If you are interested - ok stop rolling your eyes - you can check out my knitting blog (Kitten Yarns & Crafts) and scroll down to see pictures of the items I've been making. Feel free to leave a comment on the blog there and let me know what you think, or that you were there.

I also finally got around to writing another short story for the weekly writers challenge over at Faith Writers. I didn't place this week, though it did end up 10th overall in the intermediate level. If you would like to check it out, click this link and have a read. Let me know what you think in the comment section here on my blog (don't think you can leave one there unless you are a member).

Anyway, I am off to bed for it is late. Thankfully, I can sleep in - at least until my nephew gets here around 9:30 or 10:00!

Have a Christ filled day/night!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thankfulness

I remember awhile back I tried to find five different things to be thankful for every so often. I haven't done that in quite awhile, so I thought I would do it again. So, my post tonight is to list five things that I am thankful for this week.

1. Friends. After having one of my friends pass away last week, it reminded me of the value of friendship. Friendship is not just something that is received from others, but it is given as well - we give our friendship to others. Without friends, life is kinda boring. For a long time I didn't have a best friend; it was something I had decided I didn't want. I had two best friends at different times in my life, and both of them proved untrustworthy and hurt me a great deal. Eventually we lost track of each other.

Now, I have a best friend again. Correction, I have two best friends! Jesus is my best friend. He is always there for me and no matter what I do or say, he still loves me. My other best friend is Kristina. I have only known her for about four years now and over this time our friendship has grown and deepened. We've also discovered that we are a lot more alike than we thought. I am very thankful for my two best friends and I am glad that the Lord has given both to me, and I am also thankful for my other friends too.

2. Education. I am about to graduate soon with my Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. I have learned so much, and I am thankful for this opportunity that I have been allowed to have. I know that there are so many people in the world who can't get a higher education for one reason or another. I am one of the lucky ones. I don't say this to lord over anyone who might not have a higher education (or the same kind as I do), but I say this because I strongly believe that the Lord has also given this opportunity to me. If it wasn't for Him calling me to become a teacher, I would not have gone on to get this education.

3. Colours. Sounds a little weird, I know, to be thankful for colours. But I am thankful that there are so many colours in this world; so many different shades and hues. It would be pretty boring if the world were all just black and white or red and green or just yellow. Colours are everywhere - tropical fish, flowers, trees, grass, people, the sky (sun sets and sun rises), pictures, TV, etc. I am thankful that I do not suffer from colour blindness (though my understanding is that it is only reds and greens that are hard to distinguish for people who are colour blind), and that I can see such beauty.

4. My bed. I know, another weird thing. I have been waking up for a couple of weeks now with a sore back. It feels 'lame' or 'stiff' and generally after I've been up awhile it works itself out. Sometimes it feels like when I have a bad back (I think it's a pinched nerve or something) and it bothers me often at times. I think I need to flip my mattress. However, I am thankful that I have a bed to sleep in and that I don't have to sleep on the floor or out on the street. I will try not to complain of my sore back, because it could always be worse!

5. The Bible. I am thankful that I have a Bible (actually I have three or four in different translations) because there are people who don't. I am thankful that I live in a place where I am free to open it and read from it, carry it around, etc. and not get thrown into jail or persecuted for it. I am thankful that God gave us His word to guide us and teach us. I find comfort in the Bible; strength and wisdom too. For these things I am also thankful.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jumbled Mind

Take two: ok, I had two bigish paragraphs written and deleted them. My mind is going around in circles I guess and I can't seem to come out with a straight line of thought. It's like every time I try to put words to what I have been thinking, it doesn't work and it comes out jumbled or not sounding 'right' or even make any sense.

I do feel that the Lord is drawing me closer to Him throughout all of this; not just to comfort me, but to urge me on with my walk with Him. I have been in a bit of a slump for a little while with my walk, and felt a little distanced from God. It has not been anything He has done - the fault lies with me for pulling away at times, and it has been harder and harder to get back into the kind of relationship I want to have with Him; to experience the closeness I once felt, the fire I had at the beginning, the passion to do for the Lord.

Maybe the Lord is using this tragic situation to speak to me, to remind me how precious our lives are and how little time we are on this earth. For some that time is less than it is for others. We just never know when He will call us home. To be honest, that is scaring me a little over these last few days.

I guess I am feeling afraid - afraid of having unfinished business here on earth; of not having done all for the Lord that I could have. Now, I know that it is not works that gets us into heaven, but only through the faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. However, we are to be like Jesus and that includes being a servant to the Lord - Jesus was a servant (He said He came to serve not to be served), and so we should be too. I know I have not lived up to my part of the deal (if you want to call it that). I know I have not obeyed Him as much as I should, and maybe even "pretending" not to hear Him...you know, like if you don't hear what He wants you to do you won't have to do it, right? Or maybe if I avoid talking to Him in prayer He won't tell me to do something that I am uncomfortable doing (as in stepping out of my box)...I don't even know if this is making any sense or not right now.

Don't get me wrong. I want to serve the Lord and be obedient, to be Jesus to others - but I fail at this...sometimes a lot. I am not perfect. But I know that when I ask Jesus to forgive me for this disobedience that He does forgive me; I also know that I need to be obedient - more obedient!

My witnessing also lacks greatly. To be honest, to talk face to face with people about Jesus (that is to those who don't know Him) scares me because I am afraid that I won't be able to answer their questions, or that I'll mess up in my words and not make sense or not have some sort of "come back" (for lack of a better word) against the other person's arguments. I am not ashamed of Jesus - I am afraid that I will mess up.

I know that I am supposed to be a witness to Jesus, to go into the world and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Yes, I can do it on the internet through my blog or in a chat room or what have you...but there is something about witnessing face to face. That scares the heck out of me and I don't think it should. So, since it causes fear, that is not from God...it's from Satan who is attempting to keep me from telling others about Jesus...and it seems to have worked (with face to face situations that is).

So, I feel like God is using this whole time of mourning to call me closer to Him and remind me that I need to be obedient. I need to witness. I need to be a servant. But I don't know what to do or where to start...I don't even know if I am making sense with this in my thoughts.

I don't want to stand before Him one day and be one of the goats who did not feed Him when He was hungry, or give Him a drink when He was thirsty, or clothe Him, etc. I want to hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To Kate



Goodbye Friend, someday we'll meet again on the other side!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Warm Welcome!

I would love to give a warm welcome to all the new blog readers who head here from Christian Women Online! Please leave me a note in the comment section (on any post after this one too, not just this one) and let me know that you've been here. I'd love to hear from you!

For those of you who don't know what Christian Women Online is, click here to be transported. It's an online magazine devoted to the Christian woman, and it's edited by our own Darlene of What Would Jesus Blog fame, and she and a whole bunch of other women have done a fantastic job with it! Check it out!

If you notice, of course you'll probably have to scroll down, I'll wait while you do...ok now that you've done that, you'll see that I joined the CWO web ring. That is the link to other CWO blogs. You'll also notice way up in the upper right hand corner, again, I'll wait while you scroll back up...did you see it, the new corner banner? Isn't it great? Guess where I got that from! Yup, you guessed it CWO!

So, again, welcome to all the new passersby who ventured here from CWO webring. I hope you will enjoy the time you spend here at my blog, where I try to serve the Lord Jesus as best I can.

Have a Christ filled day!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Love Is...

...more than just a word. Love is more than just a feeling. Love is an action.

"...let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18

It is one thing to tell those around us that we love them. That is a wonderful thing as well, because we do need to hear the words from time to time. However, love is expressed more than just in words. Often times love is expressed with actions - through helping, through giving, through doing, etc. Unfortunately, far too often our actions aren't recognized as love.

It is easy to find some way of expressing our love to those around us. When someone is sick or in the hospital, a little visit or sending a card helps them to know they are cared about and loved. In winter maybe the elderly couple living down the street could use some help in shoveling out their driveway (and if you have a snowblower, even better!). Offering to babysit for someone who has just had a new baby so that the mother can get some much needed sleep, or so mom and dad can have a little time to themselves, would be greatly appreciated. Taking a prepared meal to someone who is not feeling well, or who has just come home from having an operation is also a good way of expressing love.

There are many, many things that can be done to show your love to others. You don't have to buy expensive gifts, but just by putting some thought into the idea, you can come up with ways that the receiver will benefit from them.

No, these actions will not save us. They will not make us earn brownie points with God. But through our faith, through our salvation we should want to share Jesus with others and share His love with them. Showing love to others through our actions is one way of sharing Jesus.

God shared His love with us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). God sent His Son, Jesus, to offer eternal life and the forgiveness of sins to the world. Jesus' actions show just how great His love is for us - He willingly died on the cross so that all who believe in Him, in who He is, and what He did would have another gift of His love: eternal life with Him! "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us..." (1 John 3:16).

There is no greater love than Jesus. As I have stated, our actions of love will not save us. But if we are striving to be like Jesus, to emulate Him in our lives to others, we need to put some actions in our love.

My challenge to you is to find someone and express your love for them through actions. The choice is up to you of what you will do, and to whom you will do it for. You don't need to tell anyone what you have done (in fact, it is probably better if you don't, that way the glory will go to God and there is no chance for us to seek any of the praise for ourselves). I encourage you to put your love into action today.