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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reflections of 2010

As 2010 comes to a close and 2011 begins, I have done a lot of reflecting over this past year. 2010 has been a very significant time in my life, from finishing college to beginning a career and to all the hardships in between. This year has been very rough and challenging for me spiritually. I had more down days and discouragement than I had ever experienced in my entire life. I went through many trials and tests from the Lord, and through it all I’ve come to appreciate and love this year more than ever. Although I know this year was absolutely rotten with all my spiritual struggles, each one helped strengthen and deepen my relationship with the Lord. I don’t regret going through all those trials to be where I am at today. The outcome has certainly outweighed the hardships and made this a wonderful year, because I have seen God working in my life for the best. I was able to take a look at my life around this time last year and see how spiritually dry I was to where I am now- significantly refreshed and doing much better, although I continuously need work in lots of areas of my life. As I thought about all the wonderful and trying events throughout this year, I realized that I would not have remembered half of the things that occurred had I not written them down in my spiritual journal. I would not have been able to see how far I’ve come from one year to the next had I not specifically stored it somewhere outside of my brain.

I can remember last year, when I worked at a Christian bookstore, when an older gentleman came up to me and asked what the purpose of a journal was. I explained to him the purpose of a journal, but I also included my way of using a journal- to write down significant spiritual times in my life such as answered prayer. I started a spiritual journal, because I had been so awed by God’s work in my life that I never wanted to forget it, should my memory fail me. It has helped give me a continuous attitude of thanks for His loving-kindness, no matter what. My spiritual journal has been an invaluable tool in my life as I am able to recollect the Lord’s goodness in all the awful situations when I turn to the latter pages and see how He made all things well in the end. I would challenge you to consider doing the same thing as the year 2011 soon approaches.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Common quotes . . .

I’ve waited for this since I was a little girl/all my life . . .

Awhile back I was thinking about how the female mind works and that infamous statement on my blog post title. I am sure I have some attentive male listeners after reading that first statement, but it’s a topic I think a lot of females think about., I hear that phrase quite often with newly engaged women, “I have waited for this day since I was a little girl.” I find the statement quite odd, to be frank. I don’t believe I ever thought about marriage or even pretending I was getting married as a young girl. Those thoughts just never entertained my mind. Nor have I ever made that my focus in life, although I have to admit, sometimes I do stray away from my true focus, but I have not ever intentionally made marriage my life. I find it sad when I hear young women say that they have waited their entire lives for that one day. Is that all there really is to life? Is not God more than a ceremony? As young women in waiting, we should place the focus of our life on God, not marriage. We should never center our whole entire world around this ceremony so that our life is in sync with the future hope of marriage rather than the future hope of our complete marriage in Christ.
What I want in a husband . . .

I hear that phrase quoted quite often as well while a list is then rattled out after the statement, whether it be talked of out loud or written on a diary. Females seem to HAVE to make a list of how they want their husband to look like, dress, behave, what kind of job he should have, etc. Since when did resumes for a husband come into place? I wonder how males feel about this, considering the amount of pressure laid upon them to perfect such a list? They already have a ton of pressure just from being examined by the Father. I personally have never made out a list in my head or on paper. I feel such an idea to be foolish and silly. What is the point in daydreaming about my future husband’s fashion sense or making endless lists that have to be met by him that have nothing to do with His Godly character? When God brings about the right man, the list will seem futile compared to his best for you and I. I am not saying though that determining important Godly qualities are off limits. Those things should be thought of so when the right time comes, you will be prepared to know what important Godly and belief-minded traits he should have. When one goes off on unimportant lists like the above mentioned in the beginning, that is when it borders on vanity.

I want to be treated like a princess . . .

Seriously? Doesn’t the Bible say we are to be servants? Or am I wrong? We are not here to be treated like a princess by our future husbands. Poor fellows, being left with all the housework on top of a job! We should never let that thought cross our mind lest it let laziness creep into our lives. The husband will already have his plate full with his job, let alone picking up after a female who believes she should do and get whatever she wants. This is one reason why I am very much against Disney Princess movies. I feel it allows silly unbiblical thoughts to entertain the heart of an innocent child. The little girl will grow up feeling that because she is a “princess” she will get what she wants and do almost as much as she pleases. This attitude should never be encouraged but immediately cut off. One should be prepared for marriage with the attitude of a servant’s heart just like Christ.

While we are waiting for our spouse, our minds should be occupied on serving the Lord fully, not deferring to daydreaming thoughts about our future. I admit, as a female, it gets very tough! It takes everything within me just to keep my thoughts focused on Him and not about the future. I want to be wholly devoted to Him and enwrapped so much in His work that I am caught off guard by the future.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Be Fruitful and Multiply" Part 2

Although I have dispelled the validity of Gen. 1:22 in accordance when having as many children as possible, there is usually another interpretation of that verse that is more extensive than just having lots of children. The second interpretation of that verse is usually used as the standard for having as many children as possible, not just many, as many as can physically be produced. It seems like lots of mothers feel obligated to have as many as they physically can have. Where is the stopping point to this idea? I’ve observed many mothers of big families who agree with that rule, and I’d like to discuss what I’ve learned from my observation. In some families, I’ve noticed that the mothers are tired and worn out. They continue to keep having children because they feel obligated to do so. They feel having as many children possible is having as many as the Lord wants. When a mother continues to have offspring, even though she is tired and weary from keeping up with the other children, how will she be an effective mother to all of her children? How does this spiritually enable her? When she continues to have child after child, unable to keep up with her duties, how does she even find time for quiet time with her own Creator? Will she be as effective as a mother if she can’t even maintain a relationship with the Lord? The answer is no, to all of them. It appears that the mother has maintained this unwritten law of producing as many children as possible, and she will do whatever it takes to maintain that, even sacrificing God as her number one priority, be it unintentional. The Bible says that God is a jealous God; He is jealous for us. If He wants our devotion, I don’t think wearying oneself to such an extent where God is on the backburner honors Him. I think worn out mothers are detrimental to a family. Now I know being a mother is hard, as I have heard it is. I know some mothers are worn out just by having two or three children, and some are worn out after six. It varies from mother to mother. Would you say that these women are in the wrong for limiting their family to two or three children in order to run the home effectively and continue to place God as their number one priority? Never! I feel that the woman’s ultimate duty is to her Heavenly Father, and in order to better serve Him, she must be able to run her household effectively. I am not advocating the use of contraceptives either when I say this either.

When the mother is unfit to bear children, healthwise, should she continue on having more children? I think not. I once heard a story about a family of fourteen children. The last few children had been very difficult pregnancies for the mother, but her husband wanted just one more. So she agreed to it, and she died during childbirth because it was too much on her body. Is it wise to continue having children knowing that they might become motherless when that is unnecessary? I think there are certain lines that shouldn’t be crossed concerning having as many as the Lord wills. I don’t feel God wants us to exhaust ourselves with as many children as we possibly can have. So what do I think?

I feel that physically having as many children as possible is not having as many as God wants us to. For one, I feel that if that were mandated for everyone nobody would have small families. All families would be massive, and it would imply that having small families is wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a small family; in fact, there were several families in the Bible that had few children. Jephthah had one child; Hosea had three children. Those were families where the Bible did not specifically mention they had a hard time bearing any children. Second of all, I believe that having as many children as God wants entails how many children the husband and wife are able to provide for effectively, mostly spiritually. I must admit, I don’t believe having children when there isn’t enough money (and no, I don’t mean saving up for college) is wise. I can remember a family who once wanted six children, but they stopped after three because there just wasn’t enough money to provide for all of them. They were already below poverty level, barely able to feed their family and pay the bills. It would not have been wise to allow the children to go hungry, bills unpaid, all because they felt another child was necessary. If a mother feels she would not be able to effectively care for more than the two children she has, I feel that is her God-given instinct that that is how many He wants her to have for the time being. All that to sum up my thoughts. I do not intend this post to offend anyone whatsoever, nor am I trying to condemn anyone. All comments and questions are very welcome. Please enlighten me with your opinions of this subject! If necessary, I will provide more in-depth detailed posts on the thoughts aforementioned as well .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“Be Fruitful and Multiply” Part 1

The controversial topic of “Be Fruitful and Multiply,” is one that has heavily weighed upon my mind of late. After going to a friend’s house and hearing a lively discussion about it, I felt much better about my stance on the issue. I want to point out that I have not studied the topic extensively, nor am I pointing fingers at anyone. I just wanted to share some thoughts that I had come home with about the subject in order to discuss and be enlightened about your thoughts on this topic as well. This topic is not about whether birth control is wrong or right, but rather about the focal point of the term- being fruitful and multiplying. I will write a series of posts on this general topic, as I have a lot more areas I’d like to cover. Right now, I just want to go over the basics of this commonly used phrase.

I don’t believe anyone knows my views on this particular subject in all actuality. I enjoy big families immensely! I desire to have a huge family when I get older, simply because that’s what I’ve wanted for most of my life. With that being said, I don’t see anything wrong with a small family. Perhaps it is because I myself come from a TINY family. I see the benefits of a small family. Both small and big families have their pros and cons.
With that being said, I’ll discuss the familiar interpretations that are given about this verse,

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
(Gen 9:1 ESV)


That verse is quoted quite often, yet the command was specifically given to Noah and Adam & Eve. The command is never seen in the New Testament, and it is quite interesting that the only times it was recorded in the Old Testament were when the population of the earth was down to a handful. There was a reason why these specific people were told to multiply. A lot of people would argue that the word used in the passage, “multiply,” means to have many children. A closer look at the definition of “multiply,” just means to replicate, implying at least one offspring, as that is what replication is. Multiply is not a specific number, therefore that verse should never even be limited to a number of how many equals the word, “multiply.”

Therefore, I do not see this verse as a Biblical explanation for having large families. I don’t think anyone can say that we are commanded to have many children based upon this verse. There is nothing wrong with having a large family or a small family for that matter, I just believe we need to keep things in their original context.

Friday, October 8, 2010

God's Working Within my Life

The Lord has been doing some very exciting things in my life lately that I would like to share! The best place to start is at the beginning- a few years ago! Several years ago when I was on the verge of ending high school and going to college, I realized that I had come to a major crossroad in my life. I needed to decide what I my major would be. I was very concerned about what my major would be as that can be a very defining point in one’s life. So this was a critical question that needed to be answered very soon. I knew that I enjoyed literature and English class, so I decided to pray about majoring in English. I earnestly prayed and fasted for this particular matter. I continuously prayed that God would allow me to know for sure that majoring in English would be in accordance with HIS will and not my own. A few weeks later, my mom was talking to the director of a homeschool school, to borrow the colloquialism, who informed my mom that she would be willing to hire me once I received my degree in English. I was thrilled! I felt this was a sure sign from the Lord that I was moving in accordance with His will, as finding a job with such a limited major as English would be very difficult. So with that promise, that I knew it was of God and that He would provide, I went off to college sure of myself, unlike most young students. Throughout my entire college career, I never had one doubt about my major. I never felt confused, wondering if I’d done the right thing.

Once I finished my degree, I expected finding a job to be VERY difficult, even knowing that the promised job a few years earlier might not turn out at all. I sent my resume there anyway, only to be dismayed at the rejection, as the teaching positions were full with no openings. I kept sending in my resume to other places, with no leads. Nobody was hiring at all. It was too late in the year to hire a teacher, but I had graduated kind of late and I specifically felt led not to look for jobs until around the beginning of August. I had maintained to that standard only to be discouraged from the lack of job openings. Instantly I became confused. I wondered if I had majored in the right field. What was God’s purpose in having me major in English if nothing was to come from it? I became doubtful and discouraged as months passed and earnest prayer seemed to be unheard. I never knew job hunting would be so difficult! Once again I earnestly prayed and fasted, as I knew that when I would fast, God always answered my prayers. I expected him to answer right away, but from experience I know that God works differently from anything we can expect or imagine. God hadn’t been ignoring me or forgetting me; He had heard, He was just working in HIS time. About one week later, I received a phone call from someone interested in interviewing me. I was excited and nervous, as I was unsure if this was ordained by God. So right before I called her back to set up an interview I prayed that God would close the door if this was NOT His will. I called the lady back and ended up finding out the job was too far away from me; it was not worth it to commute, nor is commuting an option for me. I ended up declining the interview. I was very discouraged about it, but at peace, knowing I’d done the right thing. Once again, exactly one week later, I received an e-mail from someone in the area concerning a teaching opportunity. It had taken her about one month to reply as my e-mail had been in her junk mail. How she retrieved it, I only know that it must have been of God. I responded and we set up an appointment to meet. It went very well, and she asked if I would like to train to become a teacher. This was definitely an answer to all my prayers and the fulfillment of the promise I felt God had given to me a few years earlier. He had been saving this beautiful opportunity just for me! The fulfillment of the promise of a homeschool school in a Christian setting as a teacher fit this new job opportunity to a tee! It was so amazing to see that God had closed doors to open something even better! The impossibilities of even becoming a teacher without any prior experience is phenomenal. What’s even more mind boggling is being able to teach homeschoolers in a Christian setting, as there aren’t too many places that hire. So far I don’t have a job since I’m training, but Lord willing I will in January, as a teacher.

Everything worked out in God’s timing. Even though it took a few months, I wouldn’t have it any other way. God’s ways and timing are best, and I love to see how He works in my life. I do know He ordains every intricate detail and is so involved in every detail of my life and yours. He loves us so much that He chooses to know us in a personal way. I thank God, for being my God!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Life Verses

The other day I was thinking about the life verses I have set for myself. I have one that I took up for myself, in order to remind me to keep on living for Christ. The second one I have was given to me by my parents, and the third one is given to me by God. Now you may think that’s kind of strange for me to say that last bit. No, God did not specifically say that I had a life verse, but I felt like it was given to me by God because of my name. In the Bible, I noticed a lot of people had names that related to their character. Abigail’s first husband, Nabal, had a name that fit his description- folly. Jeremiah’s name meant that he was appointed by God, which the first chapter in Jeremiah reiterates God’s calling to Jeremiah. So what do names have to do with life verses? Plenty! Although I do not have a meaning for my name specifically, I followed the meaning of another name closely related to mine. According to babynamesworld.com, my name means “ash wood.” Pretty boring and meaningless, right? On first glance, probably so, but as I searched for the meaning of ash wood, I found a deeper answer! Ash tree is a strong elastic wood that is used for items that need to be tough, such as baseball bats and tool handles. Ash wood comes from an Ash tree, which is another meaning of my name. The Latin for Ash tree is Fraximus Excelsior. Fraximus identifies the type of tree it is, and Excelsior basically means “tree.” Excelsior means “ever upward,” in English, as trees only grow up. I felt that described my name perfectly! My name meant that I was to be strong, resilient, and in Christ continue on in Him, never going back to the former life but continuing to gain more in Him spiritually. When I determined what Excelsior meant, I realized a verse that reminded me of my name meaning.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Php 3:14 ESV)

I felt like God had intended that verse for me as it correlated with the meaning of my name. It’s very fitting for the meaning, isn’t it?
The life verse I gave to myself,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(Heb 12:1-3 ESV)

described my goal perfectly when I was in high school running track. I used that verse to try and help me maintain my focus during practice, and also found it very applicable to the Christian life. I felt it summed up my whole being.
The life verse given to me by my parents is
as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
(Php 1:20 ESV)

I think it is a great reminder of how I am to represent Christ.
Life verses are important to have in order to keep our goals in perspective, to remember that the end of man is to glorify God in all that we do. Do you have life verses?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Lord's Goodness

The other day I was talking to some friends from the distance learning program I completed, and something was brought to my attention. They were talking about how each one had met through the forums and chat provided by the distance learning program, College Plus! While they were talking about the subject, I stopped and thought back to how I got to know these people, whom I now call friends, and to where I am right now. I looked back and saw God’s infinite goodness in a seemingly awful situation for me at the time. I’m not sure if I’ve related the beginning of this story or not, but I was originally supposed to attend a nearby University after I had graduated from a community college. The plan fell through, and my mom found out about College Plus! My parents enrolled me in this distance learning program, but I was reluctant about the whole situation. I had a hard time accepting this route, that was definitely God’s will. I ended up starting the program hoping to get my degree over with as soon as possible. I didn’t care about getting to know my coach or any of the students on the forums. All I wanted was a degree. I couldn’t see the reason behind God’s plan in that area of my life, as I felt nothing had been achieved by enrolling into the program except getting my degree faster. I completed my time with the distance learning program at the end of the year and was ready to enroll into the last phase of my education. I still was affiliated with the distance learning program, because I still had coaching calls. My mom suggested I should quit Facebook for a few months until I finished my degree, in order to keep me focused on that and off of Facebook. So I did, and I couldn’t stand the first week! I was so bored I clicked on the College Plus! Forums page, then eventually I decided to see what the Chat room was all about. My first intention in the chat room was to try it out once, and never get on again, just to see what the chat was all about. But the first person I met in the chat room was so very nice to me, I decided to get on again and again. That was all it took. I went into the chat room, and that’s how I met so many wonderful and Godly friends, some who have even become like brothers and sisters to me. Although we’re all scattered throughout the country, I have been encouraged spiritually and been able to meet like-minded Christians via the internet. So as my friends were reflecting their first posts and how they got online, I realized that God had intended College Plus! to help me out spiritually. Imagine if I had never quit Facebook? I would not know all the wonderful people God has placed into my life. I am so glad the Lord allowed me to be able to realize the goodness in His plan for my life. I don’t regret not attending the University of my choice. I also think about how stubborn and bitter my heart was, so much so, that I would not allow God to work in my life, and so He removed something from my life that was hindering me from His plan to be followed in order to show me His goodness. Isn’t God wonderful? He is so kind and accepting when we are not willing. My heart did soften to my coach as well. She has been a great spiritual example in my life, and I have enjoyed getting to know her as opposed to just knowing who she is. It is wonderful to look back on the rough times in life and see God’s guidance throughout the whole situation. God is GOOD!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Resting in the Lord

It seems as the older I get, the more questions I get concerning my relationship status. I am usually taken aback at first, because I am not expecting the question. I know though that as I get older it’s expected, and sometimes I feel sorry that I have to repeat the same old answer, “No not at this moment.” I feel like I’ve said that for a few decades, total exaggeration, but sometimes I’d just like to be able to say “Yes,” just to feel comfortable and “normal” per se. I have to admit that the only reason I want to say “Yes” would be only for the benefit of others, to fit in and not worry about what others think. In all honesty, I am pretty much content with being single, but I find others are not satisfied for me. As I listened to this song the other night, I thought what kind of love from a human being could match the love of God? Indeed I’d rather have my God by my side over the conditional love of a human being.

Hello sunshine it's been too long
since I felt your beautiful warmth upon my face
And how much have I missed
'Cause I've been focused on everything wrong
This road just felt so long
I forgot to lift my head to see you

Oh my lovely shining for me
Let my eyes see all the beauty

Hello sunshine since the moment
That I felt your beautiful warmth
I knew that I'd do anything
To keep this feeling of you
My heart comes alive
Oh who could add a day to this life
By drowning every dark sky

Oh my lovely shining for me
Let my eyes see all the beauty

Fill my dark skies
Make me see the light
Life is fine so bring in the sunshine
`~Barlow Girl
Indeed I’d been focusing on everything wrong, and instead of focusing on the relationship I have with my Lord, I missed out on His surpassing greatness. Once I remembered my Saviour’s love I was overwhelmed and felt just like the song said. How can I ever be unhappy with my Saviour by my side?

Tonight the stars are dancing
To the songs the angels sing
I hear You whisper on the breeze
And every sound echoes the rhythm
Of your heart as I begin to fade
Into this lovely night
I’m alive

Cause our worlds collide
I’m lost in time
Heaven kisses me tonight
Your heart with mine
It beats in time
Now I know why I’m alive

Now that I’ve found You
I could never let You go away
You left my life never the same
Sing over me and let me hear the words
You wrote for me
Whisper the words and set my spirit free
Oh, sing to me
~Barlow Girl

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today's Christianity

I haven't posted in a while, yet I've had a lot of things on my mind lately. One of the most disturbing thoughts I've had was about the state of today's Christianity. It had never affected me the way it did last week or even now for that matter. I hadn't stopped to consider the issue at all until last week when God impressed that issue upon my heart. I was so disgusted with it, yet found great comfort in a woman who went through the same problems almost a century ago! That woman was Amy Carmichael, and boy was her biography a blessing to me! Here are a few of the disgusting compromises she had to face in her day:

1.) Christians who felt in order to gain converts a compromise needed to be reached with the non-christians, such as letting them keep their house idols while maintaining the status of a Christian
2.) Christians trying to misconstrue reality and provide "happy" endings to stories that were not happy in the midst of the clash between Muslim and Christians
3.) English Christians living lavishly and comfortably within India, unwilling to sacrifice their life of luxury to better help the Indian people
4.) Missionaries unabashed by the thought that they could not find one Indian Christian who would willingly help the missionaries out without pay
5.) Missionaries that were not phased by the fact they had not one convert in about 5 yrs!

I finally felt like someone understood how I felt about Christianity, although what I saw wrong with it was quite different from Amy Carmichael's Christianity of the day- here are a few that I found

1.) When famous preachers use the Lord's name in vain or speak irreverently while praying to God
2.) When Toy Story 3 has Christians crying over the ending- yet they can't cry over the lost souls dying and going to hell
3.) When Christians have become so much like the world, they don't even realize they look like the world
4.)Compromise

Those were just a few things God was revealing my eyes to, especially after a long conversation with a friend concerning certain issues about the state of Christianity- which in turn made me realize that I was slowly being sucked in to point number 3 and 4 as well. It saddened me to realize that some of my values and morals had gone down to the standard of the world too. As Christians, we're called to give up everything and live for God. After praying this morning and reevaluating my standards as a Christian, I realized there was one important thing I needed to give up- Facebook. A friend of mine, who I have taken in as my little sister was disappointed about not having a Facebook. She explained to me why she couldn't have one- and I have to admit that it was a very good reason! Here I was- using adblocker to avoid bad ads,and avoiding looking at other profiles, because you can't control what kind of content other people put up on facebook. Somehow I was justifying my actions and compromising as well. It bothered me that I would set an example like that, not to mention I'd been convicted over this for awhile. So I finally gave it up in order to do what was right in God's eyes. That was just a little problem of mine, yet it was a treacherous pitfall for me! I thought about how awful our compromises are as Christians- we should look less like the world, not more like it. Are there any compromises you have made that you need to get rid of too?

Friday, May 28, 2010

How shall we now live?

I love watching old movies, so the other day I stumbled upon a hilarious old comedy called “You Can’t Take it With You.” One of the main themes of the movie is the ability to do as one pleases in life rather being tied down to a job or having to do anything in life that isn’t “fun.” This is the way one of the families in the movie lives their lives. As I was watching the movie, I found one scene very interesting. The grandfather of the family relates his “turning point,” from living a boring life to a fun life, to another man who is tied down by life in general.

“I wasn’t having any fun. . . so I came right down and never went back. That was 35 yrs. ago.”
“Admirable( in a sarcastic tone) – and you haven’t done a thing since?”
“Oh yes, just the things I wanted to do – collected stamps, went to the zoo, and even found time to notice when spring came around. . .”

I burst into laughter thinking how ridiculous the grandfather sounded. Since when is going to the zoo an accomplishment? As I was laughing at the foolishness of the grandpa, I stopped and thought to myself about what a pity it really was to live a life like that. To think, there are really people out in this world who believe that living life as they please is what life is about- fun. Those thoughts are in accordance with a worldview- not God’s view. As a Christian, I know that I am to live in a manner that pleases God. I couldn’t help but think about myself and actions in life, “Am I wasting my life like the old man in the movie?”. Will my life be something to be laughed at as well? Will I stand before the throne and say to God, “This is what I have accomplished- I collected stamps and went to the zoo.” How sad that would be! I want to live my life in a way that pleases God at all times. I want my life to say in the famous words of Piper, “Living to prove that He is more precious than life.”

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dying to Self

I do have some big news! An interesting twist of events has been in the making. It is a bittersweet feeling though. Lately I’d been thinking about quitting my job. The thought became all-consuming though as of yesterday. I was torn between staying or leaving. I was so frustrated and confused inside, that I cried out to God, begging for Him to show me the way. As I prayed, it suddenly occurred to me why I was so confused. I realized that I’d been running from God this whole time. There I was, praying to God to help me out when I had been unfaithful to Him for quite some time. I realized that having my job was just a way to escape from drawing close to God through prayer and studying the Word. I never realized that I’d been filling my life with other things so as to block out God, yet that’s what I had been doing, hoping other things would satisfy me so I wouldn’t have take up my cross daily. I also realized that I’d been running from God for so long concerning some things He had revealed to me, months earlier. Way back, months and months ago, I’d felt God wanting me to focus on acquiring the skills and character traits of a Proverbs 31 woman. I had ignored the calling, feeling that it was silly to quit my job for something I was sure people would ridicule me about. Recently though, as I finished my degree, I realized, through the help of my parents, that my choice to have a career was out of God’s will. I had struggled for so long, wondering what to do with my degree, but then I realized He wanted me to focus on acquiring the character traits and skills of a Proverbs 31 woman. This was also a difficult choice as I was embarrassed to tell people about my decision, knowing I’d face a lot of criticism for my decision to not seek a career. I felt peace about this decision, and I received much encouragement from many friends concerning my decision, more reassurance from the Lord that I was following His will. Although I had recently realized that I needed to focus on that as opposed to having a career with my degree that I recently acquired, little did I know that I hadn’t fully surrendered my will to God’s will. As I prayed, I realized that if something is hindering me from completely drawing closer to God and doing His will, then I must remove that object. I cannot describe the unbelievable peace that enveloped my soul. I felt at rest- finally. I realized that I needed to stop running from God and face His will for my life rather than run from it continually. So I gave my two weeks notice today at work- which wasn’t easy for me. I felt awful and sad, but never did I once feel torn or confused like before. I knew my decision was of God- even though it would be looked down upon by the world. I had also prayed, the night before, that if this decision was of God, He would allow friends to help instruct me to learn these skills and allow opportunities to arise for me to acquire these skills, as the door hadn’t seemed to open before when I decided not to take on a career and focus on these skills and attributes. God was waiting on my to fully surrender my life to His will, because that night I had my prayer answered; furthermore, once I got home from work a door opened to learn one of these skills- these were truly God-sent! I felt so encouraged by God, that I had finally done His will- after hindering myself for so long! I have a long road ahead of me though, as I have a stubborn and feminist leaning mentality. I was so opposed to His will, because I enjoy working, I love getting a paycheck, and I love being out in the workforce. I couldn’t bear to stay at home all the time, nor did I want to learn “housewife” skills. My mentality was that of the world’s mentality, so I all I could think about was how bored I would be without a job, what a failure I would be for not even using my degree right now and having a career. My thoughts were bombarded with these feminist thoughts. I am now at rest with those issues and feel content because I have now fully submitted to God and His will. I am here to glorify God with my life and conform my dreams to His will for my life. My life is not my own. It will now be the issue of realizing that God’s will is always best, as I should know by now. Every time God has closed a door, something even better than I could’ve thought of has occurred within my life. I know God’s will is more wonderful than I can imagine, so I’m trusting and resting in Him right now. He has blessed me with so many encouraging Christian friends who have encouraged me to follow His will, which has most definitely helped me through this time in my life. So here I am, focusing on God right now, waiting on His good timing. If He wants to send along a job opportunity for me later on, then spectacular! If not, then that is fine as well, I am trusting in Him right now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Love of God


I was meaning to write about a different topic for my blog post, when something happened yesterday that caught me by surprise. I decided to write about the events that occurred last night, since the Lord really revealed Himself to me.
I work at a Christian bookstore. I absolutely love working there! Work yesterday was pretty hum drum though. Nothing much was happening, which was unusual for a Saturday.  It was mostly the females working as well, which is a rare occasion! We females were excited, because closing time was just around the corner. As we were preparing for the end of a mellow evening, our manager came up to me and told me to keep an eye out for some young men who had walked in the store. She had caught them cussing and invoking Satan. I was a little shocked, wondering what their purpose was for entering the store. As the time was getting closer to closing, we females became quite anxious, for the young men had not left the store and appeared to have come in just to mock Christianity. They left only after a gracious customer had told them they were about to be kicked out, because one of them decided to start smoking. As soon as the gentlemen left, one of our employees realized that the young men had probably been shoplifting as well. We were relieved that they were gone, but they ended up roaming around the parking lot after they left the store. This really worried us, since there was mostly female employees and closing time was just around the corner. Our manager ended up calling the police, but the young men had left by the time he came. Once the store closed, we found out that they had desecrated store property by various things they had done throughout the store. I cannot tell you anxious and fearful we were! We were all praying to the Lord throughout this dilemma, and I praise God for His protection. As I sat back and thought about this event that occurred, I learned a few things.
Earlier that morning, I had read through a Kay Arthur Bible study and learned a lot. I was specifically learning about the Hebrew name for God as sovereign, El Elyon and the power El Elyon has over Satan. As I was reading the passages concerning God’s sovereignty in Job, I noticed that Satan had absolutely no power unless it was given to him by God, and even then, it was limited. When Satan is speaking to God about Job, he tells God to take everything away from Job, rather than telling God that he will ruin Job. God had to give him permission and even then, Satan had to obey the restrictions placed upon him, which he did, by not harming Job in the initial part of the book! Then when Jesus was tempted, I found it interesting that Satan told Jesus, that he would give him the kingdoms of the world, because God had given them to him. Satan couldn’t give Jesus anything that wasn’t given to him by God! So when those young men were invoking Satan, I laughed inside. To think that Satan could ever have any power over God! It’s such a comforting thought, and I never realized just how little power Satan truly has.
One of my co-workers mentioned praying for the young men to get saved. I thought that was an excellent idea. As she mentioned this, another co-worker made an excellent point, she said, “God loves those guys just as much as He loves us.” And you know what? She was absolutely right. These young men obviously hated Christians, and most likely practiced some form of Satanism, yet God loved them. I pondered those words, thinking about the Satanic tattoos upon those young men, and saying to myself, “You know, they are so special to God. Here these young men are, cursing God to His face by clinging to Satan, yet the Lord has given them breath this very minute. He chose to allow them to live and move another day. Why, because He loves them, and He wants them to know Him.” How special they are in His sight, that He allows them to breathe! This verse came to mind in Romans 2:4- “. . .not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” God is calling those young men to Himself. Isn’t that wonderful? I am praying for the salvation of their souls, and that they would hear God’s voice and respond positively.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Being Content. . . once again

It's been such a long time since I've posted, so many things going on, and I can't wait to see what the Lord does, because I shall have another posting shortly after this one too!

This time though, my topic on contentedness is very different from my previous posts. I am an only child, as most folks already know. I've had such a hard time dealing with being an only child ever since I was little. I used to cry for a sibling, that's how upset I was over my circumstances. In the past month though, I've grown even more discontent with my circumstances, because I am now ever surrounded with big families. My friends all have big families. I'm the only one who is an only child. All I could think about was how unfair it was not to have an older brother, or a young sibling to spoil. I kept thinking, "WHY?". That's all I kept thinking, until I had two friends exhort me in the faith. They explained to me what I already knew, but somehow I suddenly realized they were right. God does have a special purpose for my life that no one else but I can fulfill. After I started thinking about our conversation, I mulled over this thought and suddenly realized how selfish I'd really been. I am one of the very few and fortunate children who have their parents all to themselves any time of the day, and yet I'm complaining? It didn't make sense. I suddenly realized just how selfish I was compared to those with many siblings. I have time all to myself; I am bound by no one. I can do as I please without being bothered. I don't have to watch younger siblings. I don't even have to share with anyone. I suddenly realized that I was a spoiled only child. That hurt, pretty bad! I've never thought of myself as spoiled, until I took a good look at those with many siblings and watched their lives for awhile. They weren't selfish; they gave willing to their siblings. They had all the kind, compassionate, and giving traits that I didn't have. Then I looked at myself and thought, "What have done?". Nothing was my response. Since then, I've realized the blessings of being an only child, and I have learned how to correct the selfish habits gained by being an only child. I realized that I needed to make the time for others, to exhort others, to give of my time to others, more than ever before. And I've realized that being an only child is a special blessing by God. I am very privileged, for only a handful of people are only children.