Thursday, December 9, 2010
In some recent tensions with my extended family over a matter of hurt and unforgiveness that has been festering for many years between a few family members, this was the exact point that I came to.
Some of the people involved are Christians while the others are not. Who is the most wrong? I cannot say, for they all hold some of the blame. Who should take the first steps towards resolving this conflict? The answer in simple, the believers.
If we are the only "Bible" that the non-Christian family members (or anyone for that matter) ever see, and we are unforgiving and hateful, what do you think their view of Christ will look like?
This is huge! Do not let us under estimate how our grumpy, snappish, self-centered attitudes could possibly turn someone away from Christ. You are tired today, sick, it does not really matter to them. How you treat them, is how they expect the loving God you are always telling them about will treat them also.
What is your life saying about Christ today?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
No-Bake Cheese Cake
1 Pkg. (8 oz.) Cream cheese
1/3 c. Sugar (Opt.)
1 c. Sour cream
2 t. Vanilla
8 oz. Cool Whip
Combine, and whip ingredients together then pour into two graham cracker crusts. Top each with a can of cherry or blue berry pie filling. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
If you are looking for an easy, very yummy, holiday dessert then this recipe is for you. :) Enjoy!
Monday, November 22, 2010
I stopped after reading my chapter of Proverbs and said, "Lord, I feel nothing. I want to love You more, why is it that I feel no motivation to study Your Word. Why is making time for prayer so difficult?" Feelings of guilt tried to distract me as I began to read again. I had been spending too much time being entertained earlier in the week, I didn't pray enough... But God was faithful again. As I continued to read I came across this verse.
"Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:4-5).
Delight myself in the Lord. If I could but delight myself in His goodness, His faithfulness, if I could but commit my way, my very day, to Him and trust Him, then He would be faithful and give me what I so long for. A refreshed zeal for Him and for Him alone. As I began to delight in the Lord, and praise and thank Him for His goodness an awesome thing accord. I felt my passion and zeal for the Lord and His Word returning, had not the days duties stretched before me I could have laid in bed praising His name for hours. He has been so very good to me. I am truly blessed.
As Thanksgiving Day draws near, I protest the fact that many refer to it as Turkey Day. I jump at the chance to remind people about what the holiday is really about. Giving thanks to the Lord God Almighty for the great things He has done in our lives. My dear friends, as this day of thanksgiving approaches may I remind you to delight yourself in the Lord and His goodness. If you are feeling like your faith is running dry, or your passion for reading the Bible or for praying has faded to wisps of memories, do not despair. Instead, delight in the Lord, and praise Him for what He has done. Commit you way unto the Lord, trust in Him, and He shall give you the deepest desire of your heart. He shall bring it to pass that you will have such zeal for Him, that you will hardly be able to keep from singing His praises.
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD for He is good! For His mercy endures forever" (Psalm 136:1).
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Recently I was reading a book that talked about marriage. The author said something to the effect that in every marriage, somewhere along the way the fairytale feelings of pure bliss fade away. He did not mean that you would no longer love each other, just that the "in love" feeling that our culture is so caught up in, will fade. This is when the foundation of your marriage is tested.
I wanted to deny this. I wanted to laugh and say, "Yeah, but when my turn comes..." But, the truth is, as time passes you will begin to see more of his or her faults, and if you are not careful you will begin to criticize everything he does. You will began to hold her to all too perfect standards. There may be some other reason, but the fact remains, that the complete joy that you had in your spouse on your wedding day will fade. This is where hard work and commitment have come in.
When that fading happens you need to be ready. "How can I be ready," you ask. First off, remember I am not married, but I have had some pretty awesome marriages to watch, so be patient with me and please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but this is how I see it. The way to be ready is to take time getting to know each other before you are married. Not just what foods you like, or dislike, but you need to share what you are learning from the Lord. You should discuss theology, children, occupations, homes, everything.
If you want to be a truly wise young person you will seek godly counsel, you will take your time in getting to know your future spouse, you will move forward with caution, and you will listen to your parents!
One day, I hope you find your happy ever after, but as for me, I have already done so. Now, now, Mom, do not panic! I am not talking about marriage here. Marriage would be an incredible gift from God which I would love to experience someday, but marrying will not lead anyone to happily ever after. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can do that.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of you life, may I urge you to not prolong your wait for your happy ever after. He is waiting, all you need to do is ask.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have ever lasting life" (John 3:16).
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
1 box white cake mix
3 oz. strawberry Jello
1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. oil
10 oz. (1/2c.) frozen strawberries thawed
Dissolve Jello in boiling water and mix with cake mix. Add oil and
strawberries and beat. While beating, add 1 egg at a time until all
have been beat in. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes two
1 lb. box powder sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 c. frozen strawberries thawed
Soften butter and then beat with powdered sugar until creamy. Add
strawberries and beat again. You may have to add extra sugar if icing
is too thin.
Note: You could also add cream cheese to icing.
This used to be my favorite cakes as a little girl. I think what I
liked about it most was the color. I loved anything pink!
Monday, October 25, 2010
As I read about this other person's personal struggles against sinful nature, I wanted to tell him not to give up hope in God. For in my own personal struggles, God has shown Himself to be faithful, even when I have not been. He has shown His mercies to be endless, even though at times it seems that my sins are too many. Yet, why should someone who does not even know me believe what I have to say? Why should my words be any more encouraging then anyone else's? In his hopelessness, what could I do? I am praying but somehow that seems to not be quite enough. Surely there was something I could say.
As I continued through my day, praying all the while, I found my answer as I was writing out some comments for a Bible study lesson I am teaching on today, in John MacArthur's commentary on Colossians and Philemon. I have no guarantee that the man who's blog I visited will ever read these words, but I hope that they may be an encouragement for some weary traveler.
"Suffering brings a believer closer to Christ. Paul wrote, 'That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings' (Phil. 3:10). Suffering in the cause of Christ yields the fruit of better understanding of what Jesus went through in His suffering...suffering assures the believer that he belongs to Christ....suffering brings a future reward. 'If indeed we suffer with [Christ] in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us' (Romans 8:17-18). 'For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison' (2 Cor. 4:17)...suffering frustrates Satan. He wants suffering to harm us, but God brings good out of it."
Page 75, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Colossians & Philemon, by John MacArthur
Now I am very aware that Paul was talking about Christians suffering for Christ's sake, as in being persecuted for their faith, but the words of MacArthur apply so well to our personal suffering. For some people what they would label as personal suffering is something no one else knows of. A secret addiction, feelings that are anything but Christlike, or maybe even depression. I know that for many people, including myself, there comes a time (or many times) when you wonder why this is your burden to bear. You beg God to take this heavy weight from you, but He does not. You try time and again to do what is right and pleasing to God, just to fail again. It becomes so dark and you become so desperate for peace that you begin to wonder if all the struggle is worthwhile. Would it not be better just to give in? God does not seem to care, so why should you slave away trying to please Him. He certainly is not helping matters any. I mean, you have cried, begged, threatened, and still He seems to do nothing. Have you ever been at this place?
If you apply MacArthur's words, and these Scriptures to you situation, and if you read through your Bible you will begin to see, that God never promised ease. He never promised to take away temptation. He said that He would be with us. In our weakness, He is made stronger, and through His strength we are strong. He will love us no matter what. We are no more sinful now, then we ever were. He will wash away our dirtiness. If we fight the good fight, we will be rewarded someday. Our every effort, He knows. And on the Cross, Jesus bore all the sins of the world. He knows what temptation is. Why should we, the sinners, feel that we should have an easier time of it then, He, the Savior. Nothing we can suffer, is more then what He suffered on the Cross for us!
Think about it. In those horrifying hours on the cross, Jesus felt all that you feel times the amount of people in the world! And you think He doesn't care?
What do we dwell upon? Our failures. Our guilt. Our suffering. It is one big pity party. The devil feeds us lies. Satan tells us we are not good enough, that we cannot overcome, that we have sinned one too many times and God does not love us anymore. We make excuses, we give a little, we give a lot, we give in. Then it begins again. The shame, the guilt, the feeling that fighting is no longer worth it. Hell must be better then this, hangs in the back of our brains, though we would never admit to such a thought. But then reality pokes up it's head and we realize that hell would be a billion times worse then all our suffering on earth, plus a whole lot
Why do we suffer? Why must some of us bear crosses that make us feel like we are the only ones in all the world who have ever had to do so, and this makes us feel like we are dirtier, more sinful then any other human on the face of the earth? I do not have the answers, and I never will this side of heaven, but I know two things. I am a sinner and always will be, and God loves me despite of this!
My prayer is that in my suffering, I may bring my Lord, Jesus Christ glory and honor. I will not give up the fight for righteousness because I know that God is real, and in the end pleasing him is all that matters. All my pain and suffering is only a drop in the cup, the cup that Jesus swallowed for you, and for me.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer" (Proverbs 18:9).
Think about that. "He (me) who is slothful (careless, lazy...) in his (my) work is a brother to him (like him) who is a great destroyer." Yikes! Now that is convicting. How many times have I been slothful in my work? Uh, I don't think I want to answer that one. Let's just say, way too many times. That means I am likened to a great destroyer? Not exactly what I would like to be seen as. What about you? Have you given reason to be compared to a great destroyer today?
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I suppose I will continue to ponder His great love and mercy for the rest of my life. I may one day understand more then I do now, but no human can ever began to grasp the enormity of it. And that is part of the wonder and fascination which my God holds for me. It is always the "Why?" that keeps me seeking fervently to know Him in a deeper fashion. Mysteries intrigue me, God intrigues me. And so....I continue on, winding down this path we call life looking right and left, up and down, and all around for clues to who my God is. I want so much to come to the end of my journey and still have this childlike awe of the enormous God that I serve.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, but shall have ever lasting life" (John 3:16).
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
So what about when faith is not enough? We prayed ceaselessly for the healing of a loved one, only to suffer loss. Now, we only have two choices, to say that we did not have enough faith, or to blame God and turn our backs on Him.
Okay, so you say that I just did not have enough faith. Then tell me, who does? Do you know such a person? I have met some who claimed that they did. God healed they themselves or a family member from cancer, or any number of ailments, yet when I looked into their faces I always see how ironic their statements are. They may be wearing glasses, they may have hearing aids, they may walk with a limp, they may even have a common cold. How can this be? Surely if it was a matter of faith, they would have none of these things. If I was going deaf, but I had enough faith and God healed me, then wouldn't logic say that if I had enough faith, I would never need glasses, I would never grow old, I would never die?
Just because you have faith, does not mean that bad things will not happen. The Bible says that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). It does not say that all things are good. Sometimes death glorifies God more then life ever can. Just because our prayers are not answered does not mean that we do not have "enough" faith. And it does not mean that God does not love us.
What do we do when faith is not enough? When all we have prayed for comes to not? There is only one answer. We turn to God. Faith, prayers, fasting, nothing, will ever be enough except God. We must trust that His ways are always best. Even when it hurts.
Why is it that death is seen as the worst thing that can happen to a person? Why do we believe that if someone is not healed on this earth, that our prayers have not been answered because we did not have enough faith? The truth of the matter is, the best healing is the heavenly one. Death is not something to fear, but something to welcome.
No, we do not want out loved ones to suffer, and we most certainly would like to selfishly keep them with us. But, what is our main purpose in life. To honor and glorify God, in everything. Even in death.
When faith isn't enough...we still have God, and that is enough.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
~ Grace & Beauty
Wow, that is a tough question to answer. I cannot pretend to have the best answer, but after a few weeks of thought I do have a few thoughts to share. Can you believe that? :)
Let me start out by sharing a true story. There once was a young lady who desperately wanted to get married yet as her youth slipped away, no prince charming appeared. She struggled with trusting God, her questions were many, and her heart ached. She did not understand. If God had placed such a strong desire in her heart for marriage, then why didn't He hurry Mr. Slowpoke future husband along?
After years of struggling with these questions, she finally lay her deep desire for a husband at the feet of Jesus. A short while later she met the man that would become her husband. As she got to know him many pieces of the puzzle fell together. You see, when she was graduating from high school, he was 11-years-old. When she was in her twenties and grumbling because n husband was in view, he was in junior high and high school. This young lady's story is unique, in that it illustrates that just because you are ready now, does not mean that your future spouse is.
Now it may not be an age gap that delays your getting married. It might be spiritually maturity, relative job security, college, health issues, or any number of things. The point is, God's ways are not our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Yet His way is the way. For His ways are high and you cannot understand them all (Psalm 139:6). But may I encourage you to wait upon the Lord, trust in Him. For He will give you strength (Isaiah 40:31). Strength to endure any amount of hardships and any amount of waiting.
Did you ever stop and think that the guy you are going to marry might want to marry you now, but God is telling him, "Not yet"? This wait might not have anything to do with the young man's desires, but everything to do with God's. If that is the case couldn't you trust him? If he is earnestly seeking God's will, and being obedient to God's voice, wouldn't you trust him, because you trust Him? Wouldn't you honor his choice, because you honor the fact that he honor's His desires?
Perhaps you are right. If you ask questions like, "Why won't he ask now?" You may be setting yourself up to not trust him later. But did you ever think that you are might be looking at this whole matter from the wrong point of view? Maybe it is not your future husband you don't trust, but God.
Like I said when I started out, I do not pretend to have all the answers and I am not sure exactly where you are coming from. These are just a few thoughts that your questions evoked. I truly hope they may have helped a little.
Friday, September 10, 2010
"I'll be here for you."
" We are praying."
" Love you."
All of the sudden words that used to say so much don't mean anything. You stand helplessly by and watch those you love and wishing there was something you could say that would express the pain you feel. But no words say enough. When the miles separate you from those who are going through one of the toughest seasons of their live, they cannot see the anguish in your eyes, or the tears. You cannot wrap your arms around them and let them know just how much you care.
The questions remains: what can you do? What can you say?
You can pray, you can say all those words that are not nearly enough, and trust that the Lord will let them know how much you care, yet...even then it seems only half-hearted.
I have come to the conclusion though, that that is all you can do sometimes. That, and stand faithfully by their sides through it all. Actions are said to speak louder then words, so be a faithful friend. Pray without ceasing. Repeat words that never say enough. Hold them tight. And in the end, they will know.
In these hard times. God remains EVER faithful.
"Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:23).
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I hope that you are as well now as when I left you so suddenly. I wish such a long absents had not been necessary, but it was. I dearly missed writing, and of course hearing from you. Hopefully life will be a little less hectic for a while and I will have more time to write in the month ahead.
God has been good to me in all my business and has proved to me again that He is always faithful, even in the midst of craziness. I look forward to sharing with you more of His goodness in the very near future.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I've been there too. At one time (not so long ago) I really struggled to fill my heart and thoughts with Jesus. I was obsessed with the thought of getting married. In fact, I thought marriage was the answer to all my problems. Foolish girl. Deep down I knew that I needed a deeper relationship with God, not a man in my life to distract me from my biggest, most important purpose in life, serving God. Several things happened that pointed out to me how my obsession was not healthy, and open my eyes to the truth. Marriage wouldn't solve all of my problems. No man could. Only God could. Little by little God chipped away at my heart, and began to reveal to me the beauty of His perfect plan. Faced with the reality of five or more years of singleness, I cringed, but God kept working on me and asking me if I truly trusted him. Could I put my life, my future, into His hands? I re-dedicated my life to the Lord, promising to seek Him out and fall in love with Him. I laugh when I think about how blindly I made this promise. It looked so easy, that path so smooth, but as time went on, rocks did appear. Every day I must continue to lay my life down at His feet, and beg Him to place a deeper desire in my heart for Him. Every day He gently guides me forward...into the unknown.
I still look forward to one day, God willing, marrying and raising a family. It is only natural. At first when these desires began to resurface, I felt guilty. No, I wasn't to think of marriage, only of God, I would reprimand myself. Time, growth, wisdom, and the words of others began to show me a thing or two about the matter. Thinking of marriage wasn't all bad. I could think about it without compromising my promise. There are practical aspects I need to think about. I just need to steer clear of idle dreaming. It isn't easy let me tell you, but with God it is possible.
I often will be right in the middle of something around the house or at work and all of the sudden I will think, "I wander what he is doing just now? Wander where he is?" I smile and shake my head. "No, dreaming," I tell myself, as I smile and get back to what I was doing. Yet, I hardly ever can leave it at that. Images pop into my head of a smiling face, and hand clasping mine, a voice speaking softly with words only for my ears. My smile grows wider and my eyes take on a dreamy look. Then, I shake my head again, "No, I can't be doing this," I tell myself. "God, I know I shouldn't be thinking these thoughts, because they are making me discontented. But, Lord, You know my heart, how I long for the day when I will know him. Lord, help me not to dwell on the future so much just now, but to focus on what you have for me today. And, Lord, I just can't go without asking you to be with him. Wherever he is, Lord, just watch over him and help him through his day. Grow him in You. Help him to be a man after Your heart. May he honor and glorify You in all that he does today, Lord. Guard his eyes, his heart, his mind from all the wickedness that tempts, Lord. Be his strength, his shield, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
I am quiet for a minute, then I get back in the swing of my day knowing that God is in charge. That He does have a plan, and trusting that He will work it out perfectly in His time. I now longer have to worry about the "If onlys..." cause He has got it all in the palm of His very capable hand. And, that my friends, makes me smile.
Friday, July 30, 2010
We argue, complain, cry, and despair when God asks us to sacrifice those things we hold dear for His sake, when instead we should learn from Abraham and trust the Lord. God knows what is best, He has our best interest at heart. Do we love the Lord? Do we trust Him? Do we believe that He will ask us to do something we are unable to do? Do we fear the Lord as Abraham did? Where is our faith?
Think about it. Do you fear the Lord as Abraham did?
God's Word, chipping away at our hearts, day by day. Learn the lessons He has to teach. Take the challege, dip into the Word today!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I love the movie Facing the Giants by Sherwood Pictures of Albany, Georgia. Especially the scene near the end where Coach Grant Taylor asks his team members one by one, if anything is impossible with God. Without fail every player says, "Nothing, Coach, nothing." They were a small school team who had not even been to the championship games in over six years, yet here they were the state champs. By every ones estimations, even their own, they were not supposed to even be playing in the championship games, they were not supposed to be facing the mighty Giants, and they defiantly were not suppose to win and become state champions. At the beginning of the football year, everyone would have said it was impossible, but they made it. They chose to trust God, to praise Him whether they won or lost, and to play their very, very best. Because of their faithfulness to Him, God chose to take them all the way.
You may be facing one of those situations in life where you only have two choices, to give up, or to trust God for what seems impossible. Ask yourself, "Is anything to hard for God?" If you look in the book of Matthew at chapter 19, verse 26, you will find the answer. "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Now, go face your giants. Expect great things from the Lord, for with Him anything is possible. Remember Sarah who was ninety-years-old and yet rejoiced at the baby she carried within her. Think of Issac, how he was not supposed to be born, yet he was. Look at how that one little baby influenced the world, just like that other baby who was born centuries later in Bethlehem. He was not supposed to be born either, yet He was. Mary, a virgin, gave birth to a son and they called Him Jesus. And that little baby, Jesus, that miracle baby, Jesus, changed everything for eternity.
So, what is impossible with God?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
It starts out when you are a little girl. A new boy comes to your church. He is well mannered, good looking even to your little girl eyes, and you decide you like him and will marry him some day. It is not complicated. Just a simple, foolish little girl thought. As time passes and you grow older you look at a boy and judge whether he is worth your time by evaluating his character and his looks. As your list of "must have" qualities grows, so does the amount of time you spend thinking about him in a, uh-um, "romantic" way. There is where the problem comes in. Soon you become consumed with dreamy thoughts of what it would be like to be loved by him, married to him, and have a family with him. Not only can these thoughts rob your time with God, they can also make you discontent with your present life.
I will be honest. I have had many crushes through the years. Some short lived, some that drug out for over a year. From personal observation I have found that crushes are very draining on a girls emotional well being. If I had a crush on a particular guy and he never even looked my way I began to ask myself what was wrong with me. Why wasn't I desirable? My immature brain never gave thought to the fact that maybe he was not yet old enough to be looking for a wife. As time passed I begin to realize how harmful crushes could be, contrary to what most people will tell you, crushes are not cute and painless.
Having discovered that crushes were not something I desired anymore, I was puzzled, how did one not have a crush. I had always been under the impression that you could not help it. Crushes were just something that happened right? Wrong. Crushes are something that take time and are stemmed from a desire to love and feel loved. In other words, every girl is responsible for whether she has a crush or not. You can feel attracted to someone, and find him handsome, but that does not have to lead to a full blown crush. Below are some steps you can take to fight these feelings:
1. Take captive every thought for Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) This means when thoughts like, "Is he the one?" come into your mind, you must dismiss them. Instead pray. Ask God to help you take your thoughts captive for Him. Thank Him for being in control of you future. Tell Him that you trust Him. "Set your minds on thing above," as Colossians 3:2 challenges. Choose not to let your mind dwell on "romantic" thoughts, for it truly is a choice.
2.Acknowledge your weakness. Do not lie to yourself about the attraction you may feel for a young man. Admit it to yourself and God, then pray. At the time it may seem impossible to dismiss this man from your thoughts, but God says that nothing is impossible if He is by our side (Luke 1:37).
3. Galatians 6:9 says: "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." While nipping down these feelings of attraction may be hard, in the end we will reap the rewards of a peaceful heart, a life lived for God not men, and because we will know on our wedding day that we remain faithful in guarding our hearts for our future spouse, the knowledge that you are worth your future husband's trust (Proverbs 31:11).
4. Lastly God instructs us to give thanks in everything (Ephesians 5:20). When you are struggling to keep your thoughts on God, not on the handsome guy across the room, you might not be able to see what it is you have to be thankful for. How can you thank God for feelings you do not want? I'll admit, this is the hardest part for me, but if you look at it as thanking God for being your strength when you are weak, or thanking God for these unwanted feelings because they make you realize your great need for Him, then it does not seem so hard.
The biggest mistake girls make is in thinking that crushes are something they cannot help. Once you realize that you can control your feelings to the extent that they will never have a chance to grow into anything other then thoughts, then you can began battle. You do not have to remain captive to emotions, and let downs any longer. With God as your help, you can learn to look at boys and young men as brothers in Christ, not just potential husbands.
Once you can do this you will no longer have so many awkward silences. Instead you can communicate God's love in a deeper more meaningful way. It may be hard, but it is well worth the effort. And that is coming from a girl who has been there, done that, too many times to count.
Hope for the future. Peace for the soul. Find it in God.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I had just taking my GED test and was officially finished with high school, I had purchased my first vehicle, and had finally gotten my drivers license. Now it was time to get a job. I did not think it would be that big of a deal. In fact, I was looking forward to getting out of the house more and to having a little more spending money in my pocket. With my own vehicle I would be able to get more involved in my local community. I was sure it was going to be great.
I applied several places and sat back nervously waiting for a call. When the call finally came I began to second guess myself. Maybe this was not such a grad idea. Well, it was done, so nothing remained but for me to go to the interview. It went quite well, and by the time I left I was back to feeling fairly confident, if a little nervous.
The first day was a nightmare. It was a busy day at our local Dairy Queen. I had never been to Dairy Queen much, and when I did go I always ordered things like chicken strips, fries, or an ice cream cone. Simple foods, with easy names. Here it was a busy day, my first day, and I was stuck on a register taking orders for things like Hunger Busters. I did not even know what one was! Watching people make ice cream cones looked easy, but let me tell you, it is something that takes a bit of practice. My first cones were big messes, in fact some were not even redeemable and had to be thrown away.
By the end of my first day I was sure I had made a mistake. My feet and back hurt. I was tired, and my mind would not quit spinning.
In the weeks that followed I went to work every day with a sick stomach. My nerves were my worst enemies. I have always been shy, and being thrown into a situation where I was surrounded by strangers all day, everyday, was extremely trying. Then there were irate customers, long lines, and I still did not know the menu.
I prayed many days, “God, I just can’t do this. It is too hard.” But I had commited myself, there was no turning back. All I could do was take it one day at a time and depend on God to see me through.
I honestly thought I would die, but God used those hardships to shape and grow me. Experiencing what it was like to work forty hours every week doing something I did not particularly like made me appreciate the years my dad has worked to so faithfully provide for our family. I learned that with gained responsibility, comes new freedoms, but also, challenges. I did have more spending money, but I now also had bills. I did have a way to get around, but I no longer had as much time to be involved. Things were not at all as I expected them to be. I had been looking at being a grown up through rose colored glasses. It was a rude awakening. This was the real world baby. And I was not sure I liked what I saw.
In the passed few years I have learned a lot about how you can do things you do not enjoy and still have a good time. Whether or not you enjoy life comes out to how you look at things. I am still shy, I still get stressed by having to deal with large crowds sometimes, but I am learning that if I step out of my comfort zone and really focus on other people, it is easier, possible, and even enjoyable.
Life has moved on. I no longer work at Dairy Queen, and though I do not look at my days there with any particular fondness, I can look back and see God’s hand working in my life. I can truly say that I am thankful for those trying days. They helped me learn how to rely more on the Lord, and I would not trade that for anything!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Discouraged in the work of life,
Disheartened by its load,
Shamed by its failures or its fears,
I sink beside the road;
But let me only think of Thee,
And then new heart springs up in me.
Thy calmness bends serene above
My restlessness to still;
Around me flows Thy quickening life,
To nerve my faltering will;
Thy presence fills my solitude;
Thy providence turns all to good.
Enboosomed deep in Thy dear love,
Held in Thy Law, I stand;
Thy hand in all things I behold,
And all things in Thy hand;
Thou leadest me by unsought ways,
And turn'st my morning into praise.
~ Samuel Longfellow
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
As a home school graduate, I cannot began to tell you how many times people have told me that I need to get out and socialize more with people my own age. For some reason people assume that I will grow up dysfunctional in some form or fashion if I do not. Once upon a time I did bemoan the fact that I did not have any friends my exact age, but as time passed I began to see that it is not the number of years a person has been alive that counts, but the amount of love and understanding they have that makes them good friends.
I once read that something that has always stuck with me. "We are not raising our children to be children, we're raising them to be adults." Now when people talk as if I am missing out, or will grow up into some type of lesser person for not have had extensive communication with people my own age, I laugh. No, I may never have to deal with extreme amounts of peer pressure, and I may know how to have intelligent conversations with adults, but I do not see that as a bad thing. Why should I? The way I look at it is that I actually have an advantage over my peers.
I would love to hear stories from fellow home schoolers on this one. What have people said to you, and how did you respond? Do you think that having only friends your age is an advantage? Or not?
Friday, May 21, 2010
- make your bed every day
- be able to take a message on the phone
- clean your room once a week (with help from Mom and Dad)
Ages 15+ must do all the above, plus...
- do a daily chore [just one], like taking out the trash
- make sure the gas gauge stays above a quarter of a tank
- clean your room once a week (without help from Mom and Dad)
This is a list Alex and Brett Harris found online of what kinds of expectations parents should have of their teens. The article even went on to assure the parents that they should not feel that their children should have to even do all of these things, because that might be expecting to much from them!
If you are a young person and that does not encourage you to rise above low expectations (and in this case very low expectations) I do not know what will. Why, adults expect almost that much from two-year-olds.
When we were little we were expected to help pick up our toys, obey, and learn new stuff every day. Think about it, if you are two and you refused to learn new words, you would never learn to talk. If you thought that your parents were expecting to much to encourage you to walk, then you would still be crawling around. If you refused to eat real food that you had to work hard to chew since you did not have all your teeth, you might still be eating baby food. Why is it all right to expect toddlers to learn so much and work so hard to become more independent, and it is not okay to ask the same of your teenagers?
I am a Rebelutionary, and I am proud of it. I believe that every young person is capable of so much more the what is expected, and I challenge you to rise above what people expect of you and do great things.
"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Nothing I can say or do will make God love me more? Whoa! Hold it a minute. That means if I am always doing good deeds, obeying God's laws, reading His word, and I pray faithfully He still will not love me any more then He did when I was dirty and very much without Him? Then why do I do any of these things? Isn't it just a waste of time?
This is where the definition of true love comes in. If you truly love someone you will do them good and never expect anything in return.
Say you are the mother of a wayward child. You love him and care for him yet he never even acknowledges you unless you have something he wants or needs, yet as his mother you continue to love, pray, and hope for him. That is true love.
Even though nothing we do makes God love us more, we do not do it expecting a return, we do it because we love Him and because it is our God-given purpose in life to serve Him and bring Him pleasure. In serving Him, we are fulfilled. I would not call that a waste of time. Would you?
We cannot earn God's love, we already have it. It does not matter how vile and sin filled we may be, God still loves us. He still extends His grace to us, and offers all of us the free gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. It is a gift of love, and a gift by definition is: "Something transferred by one person to another without compensation." You cannot earn it, you can only receive it.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
"If Christ appeared to me, would I see Him for who He is, or would I be blinded to the truth? Would I even know Him? If only I would always treat others as I would Christ, then I should never have reason to be reproached."~December 26, 2009From my Bible study notebook
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye. Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" Matthew 7:1-5.
Modesty is more an issue of the heart then a stern dress code. I can wear a sack that covers everything from my neck to my ankles but still be immodest. Immodesty is about attitudes of the heart, actions, and words that come from a sin filled heart. Thus, in matters of immodesty, I am just as guilty as anyone. How then can I judge?
I would be the first to admit my unfaithfulness in always living by God's principles. I have lied, talked ugly, disobeyed. I have judged others and been a hypocrite. I am not perfect, so why do I hold others to standards so high that I myself cannot keep them? And if they fail, I grind them into the dust with my thoughts and maybe even my words?
God holds everyone to very high standards. In fact, His standards are much higher then mine. Yet, He knows mankind. He knew we would fail because we are sinners. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. He knew we would never measure up, but He loved us anyway.
My job is not to judge others faults, to condemn them. That is God's place. I am to live by God's standards to the best of my abilities, and while I can hold God's standards up for others to see and encourage them in keeping those standards, I cannot rightly judge them. "For all men fall short" (Romans 3:23), the Bible says. Even me. Especially me!
The next time I am tempted to judge another for his or her "sin," I am going to remember the planks in my own eyes and not expect perfection from them, because on earth perfection is unattainable. When a girl walks into church wearing something less then modest, I want to remember Matthew 7:1-5, and examine myself with all honesty. I want to encourage her to live by God's principles, and humbly ask her to encourage me to do the same. We must always remember the planks in our own eyes. For how can we possibly see well enough to judge others when there is no way we can clearly see the specks in their eyes for the boards in our own?
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
It may sound crazy but when it became clear that we might be moving before summer is over, I went into a panic mode. When I learned that my parents where considering buying a house in a community I was not interested in living in (I did not like the house either) I was floored. This could not be happening to me!
I fought it. I reasoned that there was no way we could fit in that house. We have been used to five bedrooms and this house only has three. There was no way my parents were going to really choose this house, was there?
As the days went by my fears became a living nightmare. My parents were seriously leaning towards buy the house I was so set against. I am ashamed to say I even tried to convince them that there was no way we could live there. Despite my outburst my parents continued to pray seriously about the house.
One day I was getting ready for work. I was talking to God and telling Him that we could not fit in that house, it was not the place we needed to be. Then, it was as if someone turned the lights on. Who was I to think I knew better then God? If my parents were praying about this and they felt that this certain house -which I hated- was the one, who was I to argue?
"But, God, I do not want to go there. Why must I go there?" I continued to argue.
Then I heard a voice so clearly in my heart I knew it was of God. It said,"You promised the Lord you would go wherever He might send you. You promised to follow Him to the deepest, darkest jungle if that is where He lead you. Even if it meant leaving all those you loved behind. Now He is asking you to move to a little town that is still in your home state It is only a few hours from your currant home, you will be with your family, and yet you are refusing to go? What is up with that?"
That is when I knew. God was not asking me to go to deepest, darkest Africa, He was asking me to go to this place I did not want to go. This town, this house I hated. I thought on in a few minutes then whispered, "Lord, if this is where you want me, I will go. I do not understand why You are asking this of me, but I will trust You. I will go where You send me Lord. I will go."
I still was not excited about moving, but the peace that had been evading me returned as it always does when I surrender my will for that of my Father's. It is human nature to play tug-of-war with God over issues of control, yet it is only when we give everything over to Him that we find peace and lasting joy.
I do not know what the future holds, but I know God is with me and that He is in control. I am looking forward to whatever lies ahead with hope because I know that God will remain faithful even when I do not.
So, what hard thing is God asking you to do today?
Monday, May 3, 2010
You may have noticed the changes to Musings From the Feet. I decided to change things in celebration of my second year of blogging, and because I want to start anew, if you would. As I mentioned not long ago, I have not been posting much these last several months, and aim to change that. I thought the change in blog design would be a sign of the change to come.
So, do not worry, this is really still the same site, and you did come to the right place.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
1 Medium head of Green Cabbage (shredded)
1 Carrot (shredded)
1 T. Minced Onion
Combine these vegetables together.
1 1/4 c. Miracle Whip
1/3 c. Sugar
1/4 c. Vinegar
1/4 t. Celery Seed
1/4 t. Black Pepper
Salt to taste
Whisk it together and add to vegetables. Mix it all together well.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Relationships between young men and women can be a hot topic. I have mentioned before that as a young girl I thought you had to date before you got married. It was all I had ever seen or heard of. As a teen I began to read and hear about courtship and within a short amount of time was convinced that courtship was the only right way to go about getting to know a prospective spouse. I was adamant; courtship was the only way to go. Period.
I began to discuss the topic with my friends and found it very frustrating that they did not see eye to eye with me. Some agreed that you should wait until you were of a marriageable age before pursuing any close relationships with someone of the opposite sex, but they did not all agree that courtship was the only way. It used to make me want to shout at them, "Don't you see? You are wrong. I am right!" Over the years the topic has come up time and again with my friends, probably in part because it is one of those topics I do not have the sense to stay away from. I found it interesting to hear what my friends thought about courtship versus dating, what they have read, and what they have been taught on the subject, and yes, there have been a few hot moments.
As time has passed I have come to see my friends' points of view are not "all wrong." They have taught me that no one's relationship is going to look just like someone else's. I have learned that it is not so much about what you call your relationship, but what your definition of that relationship is. Still, even though I do agree that relationships will vary as each person's circumstance varies, I believe that there are a few key guidelines that couples would be wise to follow.
My mom has always emphasized the wisdom of waiting until you are ready to marry to pursue any kind of romantic relationship. She meant several things when she told me this. One, that a young man does not seriously pursue a girl until he is financially able to support her. Second, that both the young man and the young woman are mature enough for marriage. It is easy to become infatuated with someone, but it is a lot harder to love someone faithfully for the rest of your life. If a young person is not ready to be responsible or commit to marrying someone, then they are not ready to seek any type of romantic relationship. I have not always agreed with this but over the last few years have found it to be a sound bit of advice. Why pursue a relationship with someone and potentially get emotionally attached if you are not ready to consider marriage. This road will lead you to break-ups and heartache. To my way of thinking, there is no point in such a relationship and it can set a harmful pattern of getting together and breaking up, a pattern that is just setting you up for divorce.
Another thing I have read many times that makes so much sense, is if you are going to get married and you know it, than do it. Why wait? This only opens the door to temptation. You began to think of the other person as belonging to you. You think, "Oh, it is okay if we kiss all the time, after all we are going to get married." Next thing you know, this logic has taken you to far and there is no turning back. God meant for intimacy to be special, and He meant for it to be saved for marriage. Whether or not you plan to marry one day or not is not the issue. Being faithful to God is. If you know you are going to get married, do it. Do not drag it out, if you are not ready for marriage financially or emotionally, then you should not have allowed your relationship to escalate to this point.
As a guy, if you are not ready to support a wife, but a certain girl has caught your eye, maybe you even feel God is telling you that she is the one, then do the honorable thing, wait. Do not pursue a deeper relationship with her that will awaken emotions better left sleeping. Waiting will make the prize all the more precious in the end. Are you afraid that if you do not say something someone will steal her away? Look at it this way. If she is God's chosen one, then you have nothing to worry about. Right? Everything will work out in His timing.
If you are a girl, and you know that a guy is the one for you but you also know that he is not ready for marriage, do not push him. Keep your distance. You can be friends, but do not try to be more than that to him. Wait on the Lord, and pray for your special guy. If he really is the one, then God will open his eyes to you all in good time. Do not make the first move. Let him. It is all about God's order and the way He meant for things to happen. In the end, your young man will love you more for knowing that you waited patiently for him to grow up and get to a place where he could support you. In the end, you will be happier then you ever thought you could be.
The number one issue in my book would have to be, do not pursue a relationship unless you have the blessing of your parents, and you feel that God has given you the green light. God gave us parents and godly counselors for a reason, if we refuse to seek wisdom when we are looking for a spouse, we may end up covenanting our lives to a person we will grow to hate. Our parents know us better sometimes then we know ourselves. They may be able to spot something in the other person that we cannot see because we are too close. We are infatuated, but they are not. They are not looking through rose-colored glasses. They see the whole picture, right past the good looks and charming manners to the heart. No, I do not believe in arranged marriages, nor do I feel that parents are always the best judges, I am just saying, that if your have godly parents, or mentors, they sometimes can spot things that you will be unable to see, and the wisest thing you could possibly do is seek their advice.
Often times young people reach their twenties and wonder where their Mr. or Miss. Right is. They start looking at everyone of the opposite sex as marriageable material. Instead of being able to enjoy the company of others as just friends, they feel pressured to always be on their best behavior just in case so and so is their future spouse. If that is not ridiculous, I do not know what is.
I love spending time with two of my friends because I can tell when they interact with guys that the last thing on their mind is marriage. They are kind, considerate, and always willing to help out or have some fun, but they look at guys as brothers in Christ, not marriageable material. That is the way all young folks should view each other. Not as future mates, but as children of God.
I do not claim to be an expert on relationships, nor do I claim to always be right (I have hopefully learned my lesson in that area), but I am always looking for opportunities to share the wisdom that has been passed on to me in hopes that it will save someone else some heartache and help to guard them from those emotional scars which are much to common these days.
If you are longing for someone to love and share your life with, may I encourage you to think about what I have shared today? As you pursue a relationship, remember that though your story will be different then others, and that there is really not one "right way," that there are some steps you can take to guard your heart, and make your season of courtship or dating be one of the best seasons of your life.
Keep your eyes upon the Lord and seek His will.
Monday, March 1, 2010
L. P. Jackson's Grape Ambrosia
1 6oz. box of strawberry Jello
2 c. seedless grapes (halved)
1½ c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1½ c. miniature marshmallows
11oz. can of mandarin oranges
1 c. or more toasted coconut (optional)
1 c. sour cream
Mix Jello with 2 cups of hot water until dissolved.
While Jello is hot, stir in sour cream. Cool to room
temperature ( Approx. 45 min.). Add other ingredients,
except the coconut. Pour into 9x13 inch casserole dish,
and chill in fridge until firm. Sprinkle coconut on top
if desired and serve.
Note: Do not drain the oranges!
This is my great-grandfather's recipe and one of my personal favorites.
It is a good light dessert after a big meal, and I can never eat enough
of it. Try it out and enjoy.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
At eighteen I was getting ready to graduate from high school, and I was worried because I did not have any real plans for what I would do next. I had always assumed I would go straight from high school into college, but as the time drew near, I became more and more unsure if college was the right choice for me.
Soon after graduation I got my first job and started working full time. I was a bit burnt out with book learning and decided to take a break. Though, the break from school was nice, I never stopped worry about what I should do about college. I looked at many colleges and many degree plans, but nothing seemed to be right.
I prayed and prayed asking God to show me what it was He wanted me to do. I always received silence, which I interpreted as a signal that I was to wait. So, I waited, worried, and worked. A year passed. "God, surely now is the right time. I am tired of not knowing. Won't You just give me a hint." Still nothing.
I kept working and I kept looking. Several times I thought, "Oh, this is it. I have found it!" Then as I pursued that path further every door was closed. This kept happening until I came to the point of, "You know what, Lord? I am not going to worry about this any more. This is Your deal, it should have been Yours all along, and I am not going to worry about it any more. I trust You. I will wait on You another ten years, just walk with me."
Then one day, almost two years after I had begun working, I knew. God showed me the perfect path, and not only that, but He also made a way where I thought there was no way. He proved to me again, that He is an awesome God. He knew His plan all along. He just wanted me to learn a lesson in trusting Him. Think of all the time and worry I could have saved if only I had trusted Him from the start!
In the next few months I will begin a new journey, called college. I know that there will be tough times, but I also have peace because I trust that my God can, and will, see me through.
This is just one more story about how God has revealed Himself to me. This is just one more reason why I know that God is real. It feels so good to say I have no worries, because my God is in control.