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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Psalm 15 Thoughts (Part 1)




Psalm 15:1 "LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?"

The words "abide" and "dwell" suggest a constant continuance in something. In this case, being always close to God, always having one's heart fixed on Him alone. What better place for a child of God to be?? Drawing ever nearer to my Saviour and His holiness should be the very highest goal I should strive towards with my whole heart.

Verse 2 "He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart."

The word "Upright" means strictly honorable or honest. Since a walk is a series of steps, what I take away from this is that I should be, in my thoughts, making a conscious choice to be honorable and honest in every step I take through this life. High goal, but when is the Christian walk an easy "go with the flow" kind of lifestyle? It shouldn't be! Working righteousness is not just refraining from unrighteous acts or thoughts, but purposefully doing the exact opposite--searching out ways to bring glory to God through my actions. The last part of this verse talks about "speaking the truth in his heart". (Remember, we are answering the question of who will be able to abide close to God). I thought this phrase was interesting...I mean, sure, I know that lying to other people is definitely wrong; everyone knows that. However, how often do I deceive myself? Do I tell myself that such-and-such sin wasn't "so bad", or that I have lots of time before I need to buckle down and start getting serious about serving God, or even that I can do this or that good thing with a wrong attitude and still please God? Wow. Very sobering thought that I might be allowing myself to lie a lot more than I think! 

Well, I'm going to continue Psalm 15 in next week's Sunday Snippet...I hope you all have a wonderful Lord's Day! God bless!
Mykaela

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Log

Here is a small poem I put together this evening...It's certainly not perfect form or anything of that nature, but I hope you can see past that to the message I am trying to get across. :)




“Oh, dear brother, let me help you!” 

I cried out in dismay— 

“You’ve got a splinter in your eye? Let me help take that away! 

It must be quite uncomfy 

To be in this distressing plight 

Well if you let me, you will see, 

I’ll soon put things to rights!” 



Quickly then I made my way to help my brother out 

Carefully trying to feel my way 

As I traversed my route. 

When I finally reached him, he raised his head to see, 

And in his ridiculous state he said, 

“You must be kidding me.” 

“What?!” I cried defensively, 

As I squinted down on him. 

He had the gall to say to me, “Well, your position’s grim. 

You think you can assist me in removing this small speck? 

I’ve got some news for you, Sis, that I think you ought to check. 

You’ve got a massive ugly log protruding from your eye. 

It’s so huge and obvious to all who pass you by. 

You hardly even made it here to help me out today… 

You had to stop so often, to adjust your log on the way. 



“Don’t be ridiculous,” I replied, “I CAN help you fix yourself! 

As if I’d have a beam in my eye, and not know it for myself! 

Dear brother, you are deeply wrong, if you won’t hear my advice; 

You keep that splinter in your eye, and you will pay the price!” 



So I stuck my nose up in the air, and turned away to leave 

And oddly enough, I stumbled…but why I can’t conceive. 

After all, does he not think that I can see clearer than he? 

Ah, well, I guess not everyone can be as wise as me! 



Dear reader, can you see the truth contained in this small rhyme? 

Why are we so quick to condemn, 

And put people down all the time? 

And why do we search with all our might, to find out others’ sins, 

Yet leave the greatest sin untouched—that which lies within? 

If we want to help a friend to see the small mistakes they’ve made, 

We first must repent ourselves before God, 

Who can take ALL sin away!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sunday Snippets: The Saviour's Compassion


John 5:1-9 "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath."
Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem to attend a feast of the Jews, and was passing by the pool of Bethesda. He saw a man who had been crippled for 38 years, and had missed the opportunity for healing multiple times, it would seem. Can you imagine how discouraging this would be? Can you imagine how deeply grieved this man's heart must have been every time he tried so desperately to gain healing, relief, a way out of this terrible life of pain, only to see another get it before him? It must have felt to him as if no one cared for him in the least...after all, he didn't even have one single friend to help him into the pool at the right time. What a lonely life he must have led! The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick...how many times was this poor man's hope deferred? And yet, even in his terrible plight, someone DID care. What is so precious to me about this story is that we don't see this man ask for healing...our Saviour went and sought him out. Jesus is such a perfect example of selfless compassion, concern, and love. He saw this man as an individual; a human being in desperate need, and He immediately reached out to help him and bring him healing, not just physically, but spiritually as well. I was so convicted by this...Do I see everyone around me as precious souls who love, cry, hope, fear, and will eventually die and spend eternity somewhere? Do I have a deep, consuming passion to reach them, touch their lives personally, and tell them of the One who can heal their deepest pain and sorrow? Oh, may I love these souls as He did! May I keep an eternal mindset in the midst of this very temporal world! May I do God's will with the compassion exhibited in the perfect life of my Lord!
Mykaela

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Seeking God in the Morning




Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

Psalm 5:2-3 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Psalm 88:13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

I love the book of Isaiah so much...there are such gems of wisdom all throughout it. I also find it interesting how so many verses in the Psalms go exactly hand in hand with those in Isaiah. God's Word truly flows together perfectly, as He intended! Anyway, we find quite a few instances in The Bible of people calling on God early in the morning, seeking Him, etc. Even our Lord rose up "very early" multiple times to go and pray. I don't think it's an accident that it's mentioned so many times. I have found in my personal life that if I do not read a portion of Scripture, however small, and pray in the morning, my day seems to slide downhill very quickly. It is SO important (for me personally, at least), that I get that strength in the morning to be able to face the day! When I truly realized this a couple of years ago, I was talking to a dear friend about it. I will never forget what she said: "Mykaela, if this is something that you are struggling with, I truly want to help you out. Is there a way that I can help keep you accountable in this area?" WOW. Friends like that are such an incredible blessing, let me tell you. We set up a time, and for at least six months after that, she would text me every day around noon, just to check and see if I had spent time with The Lord yet. That accountability got me into a daily habit that I still hold onto to this day. Her practical help in this area has stuck with me ever since!!

Now, I am definitely not saying that we must do our personal devotions in the morning, and only then. Of course not! :) In fact, I usually have more time to devote to that in the evening before bed. However, I would just encourage you this week to try it...Read a small portion of God's Word even before you check your phone in the morning. Satan tries so hard to trip us up as soon as possible, it seems! I think of it like this: If we are to dedicate to God the first fruits of our money, our time, and our families...shouldn't we also give him the first fruits of our day? Shouldn't He be the first and last thing on my mind? Interesting thought. 

Anyway, this is just something that I've been considering lately, and I hope you'll forgive me if it sounds a bit disjointed written out. ;) I hope all of you have a blessed Lord's Day and week to come!
Mykaela

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Story of the Toy Firetruck (And why it meant so much to me)




My youngest brother Kebron is an adorable little fellow with a brain full of interesting and sometimes hilarious ideas. He has little round glasses, and one of his eyes is half brown and half blue...that eye also drifts quickly towards his nose when he gets nervous or excited. Think Jenny from Free Birds. ;P We all love his sweet, loving, sometimes scatterbrained ways. A few days ago, we all went out to our local farm and ranch type store to look around. They sell a lot of different fun stuff there; toys, clothing, western style home decor, etc., along with the usual tack, boots, guns, and other supplies. Since Kebron had some Christmas money, he decided that he wanted to buy one of the large toy trucks that were on sale that day. After a long deliberation period, he decided on a very long, very red, and very shiny firetruck. He carried his new possession home with great anticipation, and spent the rest of that day in the deepest enjoyment of the treasure. The rest of us cringed a bit when we saw how very cheaply it was built (rather sad how toys are these days...), but of course didn't want to spoil his joy. 

Fast forward around a day and a half. All of us kids were down in our basement playing a game that involved lights being off and pitching light-up darts at each other at top speed. I won't go into too great of detail there--it's probably not the smartest of games! :D We were playing along, throwing, dodging, yelling, when suddenly....kersnappity crunch!!!!!!!!!!! Silence fell. Someone flipped a light on, and there on the floor lay Kebron's special truck, forlornly squashed into several very broken pieces from an unnamed sibling's foot! Dismayed exclamations broke out everywhere, along with apologies from said sibling, but what could we do? It was broken far beyond fixing! Kebron was very disappointed, and of course we all felt terrible. Time passed, and I thought that was the end of the matter. 

The very next day, I went with a couple of others to Wenatchee to do some outreach/door knocking. I always enjoy doing this so much, even though sometimes it can get pretty cold! ;) So there I was, going from door to door with a smaller sidekick, when Mrs. Warren, a friend who was with us at the time, called me over. "There's a guy in that house over there who has 3 little girls, and one on the way...he said they are moving, and he was wondering if we wanted to come inside and take some of their toys off their hands?" I happily agreed...I mean, who could say no to free toys, right? ;) We went inside and greeted the kind family, deep in the midst of the moving process. "I had the girls just throw all the toys in a pile in the playroom", the man informed us, "Just pick whatever you can carry!" A scene of glittery pink and purple confusion greeted us. These little girls certainly had plenty of loving family to get them things! We gathered a few small odds and ends, feeling slightly awkward to be intruding like this, when there, poking out from this massive pile of girly items, sat a gleaming, all metal, very large red firetruck. What??? I asked the dad, "Where is this from?" His reply: "Oh, I've had that since I was a kid...It's Tonka brand, super well made! Somehow it never really got played with much." At this point I'm thinking, Okay, there's no way he'll want to just give this away: I mean he's had it since he was little!! "So...how much do you want for this firetruck? My little brother just lost one yesterday to a tragic collision with a giant foot." Without hesitation, he replied, "Oh, just take it, of course--we want to get rid of everything in here!" With utter shock in my mind, I picked up the heavy, two piece fire engine and boxed it up. That night, Kebron received a new, much bigger and better toy from a total stranger in Wenatchee! 

Now you may wonder why I took all the time to relate this story...I mean, it was just total coincidence, that whole thing, right? Well, you can think that if you like, but I believe God knew exactly how all of that would play out! Some of you may be thinking, "Seriously, Mykaela? You think God cares about Kebron's silly little toy?" Yes, I do! I think that the God who created the universe, put the stars in their places, and made this beautiful earth for us to live on, looked down and saw one of His little lambs that was grieved about something! Of course, God didn't have to supply Kebron with a new truck the day after his broke. He didn't have to give him one that was even better in every way. And yet, there it is...a completely "random" encounter with an unfamiliar family who simply wanted to get rid of some junk, and God plopped a gift right into Kebron's small hands. I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty amazing!!! God says in His Word that even a tiny sparrow doesn't fall to the ground without God's notice. Doesn't it stand to reason that he would see and care about other seemingly small things in our lives? I believe so. I am so thankful to worship a God that cares about the things in my life that others would consider tiny, insignificant, or worthless! 

This fire truck story just encouraged me to pray about the "little things". And even more importantly--to thank God for the "little things"! Do you have a story about God's provision in the little things? :)
Mykaela

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sunday Snippets: The Blessed Man

I am going to try to start doing a post each Sunday (probably releasing on Saturday night due to the fact that we commute an hour and 40 minutes to church quite early), but anyway...I am just going to have it be a short read, dwelling on a small portion of Scripture. I hope each one of you has a blessed Lord's Day!


Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


The "Blessed Man" who is the theme of this small chapter, has a few clear determining characteristics. He doesn't take the advice of those who are not close to God, he doesn't stand by and watch the sin of others, (thus condoning it), nor does he plant himself where mockers can drag him down with their bitter words. To do these things would bring curses on him, not ever blessings! (verses 4-6)


Instead of doing these things, he delights himself in God's Word, loving it and saturating his mind with it. This continuance in God's law makes him so entrenched in it and what it means for his life that there is little else on his mind. He dwells on it during the day, and brings it back to his mind in the night. The Bible is the first and last thing on his heart each day. As a result, what joy and fulfillment he has! He is compared to a strong, lush tree, full of life and vitality. Is this not how we should all want our spiritual lives to be? Should we not strive towards this picture of a richly blessed life? Let's try this week to replace the evil or worthless things in our daily routine with Godly occupations. Ask someone to keep you accountable if it helps! I hope we can all work on this super important area! God bless,


Mykaela

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Redemption

I've decided to post a short story I wrote several months back...for those of you who have already read it, I apologize. ;) For those of you who haven't, I hope it is thought provoking...our Saviour truly has done so much for us. He's lifted us from the very lowest of the low, to--well, royalty!! God is good. 

Redemption


I hesitated, then lifted my hand to take His, offered to assist me down the last step of the sweeping staircase. Everything melted into slow motion—the glittering richness from the fireplace and chandeliers adorning the great hall. The swirling rainbow of lace, pearls, jewels, and cascading trains of the dancers. The festive lilt of the musicians’ instruments, mingling with the tinkle of pure crystal goblets. But only one thing froze motionless in the mesmerizing tapestry of beauty before me; His hand—strong, warm, inviting, open to receive mine. I felt small and fragile in His presence. I stepped down, and as he gently led me toward the dais—reserved for royalty alone— an overwhelming sense of unworthiness gripped me. I slowed and noticed the bemused glances being bestowed on us. He paused and leaned down to me. “Heed them not. Only come.” He whispered. Together we ascended to the place of highest privilege, and a great hush gradually settled over the onlookers. “Lords and ladies of the court,” He began, “I present to you our honored guest. Some of you may recognize her as a prisoner recently condemned for crimes against our King.” I hung my head in shame even as my heart leaped joyously in anticipation of His next words. “She is condemned no longer! I have personally paid the ultimate cost for her redemption; she stands before you tonight as just and honorable as I myself.” I raised my head, eyes filling, as the crowd lifted their voices in praise for the One who had set me free. The Prince of Peace turned to me, and with his gaze overflowing with ancient wisdom and love, He said to me—a convict turned princess—“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed!”

Mykaela

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Secret Place

There is a song by Ron Hamilton which has always been very special to me. The chorus lyrics especially are so beautiful…
“I find peace, I find grace
Far away from the world’s embrace.
He gives me rest, He keeps me safe,
I find His strength, I seek His face
In the Secret Place.”

These words have really touched my heart in the past, and that led me to a study on what “The Secret Place” might be. I mean, is there a literal, physical place that The Bible mentions, or is it more of a state of being? I was curious. What I found was very interesting to me; The Bible mentions these words in both a positive and a negative context. There are 4 mentions in a positive sense, (those are what I want to look into in this post), and 8 references in more of a negative sense. (As in hiding one’s light in a secret place under a bushel.) Those “good” verses have really beautiful words and contexts, hence the fact that people have based songs of praise to God off of them.

The first one I found was in Psalm 18:11—“He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.”
This is interesting…If The Lord has made darkness His secret place, this would indicate that in order to get there, I must go through some form of darkness. Am I willing to do that?

The second is Psalm 81:7—“Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder:…”
Wow. This reminds me of the accounts of Mt. Sinai in the book of Exodus. The people were afraid even to look at the mountain of God because of the darkness and thunder. And yet this is the place where Moses experienced such a close fellowship with his God that his face literally shone with the very majesty of it? Incredible! Obviously we can’t just draw parallels right and left…I mean again, there are only a few mentions of this phrase in the Bible. However, this scenario does make me think of the many times I have heard of people going through horrific and terrifying trials of some sort, and that’s the very time that they draw closest to God. In the midst of darkness, thunder, storms…they get to know God deeply and personally.

Moving on to the third mention, in Psalm 91:1—“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Probably the most well known of the “secret place” verses, this is certainly a precious promise. I sometimes wonder, though; can I truly claim that promise for myself? What constitutes making God’s secret place my habitation? In the very next verse it speaks of making God our refuge. I am definitely seeing a common theme here. Darkness, storms, trials…they all would seem to go hand in hand with abiding in this Secret Place.

One more verse—Isaiah 45:3 “And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”
I really love this one. And again, we see that theme coming out. It almost seems as if this Secret Place cannot be gained without trials. Which honestly makes sense…I mean why would you need a refuge, a fortress, a shield, if everything is going great in your life? Those are things you need in trouble, in battle, in dire situations. The question here is: Am I too busy fighting the trials that God allows in my life and wishing to escape them as fast as possible, that I can’t even find that oasis in the desert, that lull in the storm that only God can provide? Do I seek out His rest, and the treasures in the darkness, or do I stress so much that He can’t give them? Am I purposefully dwelling in that Secret Place of the Most High when a difficulty comes along in my life? God never sends trials for no reason. Maybe, just maybe, that reason is that we can discover the joy that comes with trusting God to hide us in His Secret Place!

If you are going through something that seems like an insurmountable problem, I hope these verses can help to encourage you in this. As believers, God is our refuge and strength! Keep your heart focused on Him and what He can show you through your storms! God bless,

Mykaela

Friday, January 1, 2016

My First Post!

Hello to All!
As we begin a brand new year, I thought it fitting to take on something almost entirely new to me: starting a blog from scratch. I’ve always had writing sort of hardwired into me, (I’ve kept a journal regularly for over 11 years), but didn’t consciously recognize that fact until recently. I’m looking forward to the experience of writing a *hopefully* regular blog! :) The purpose of this blog is mainly going to be just to share some of my thoughts and musings on portions of Scripture, things I’ve noticed during my devotions, etc., as well as things in general that have encouraged and lifted me up. My prayer is that my writing will be used of The Lord to encourage other young people who are striving to live by God’s Word—you aren’t alone! I am totally flawed and imperfect, just as everyone else, but I am so thankful that God can use “cracked vessels” for His glory! :)

A little about myself for those of you who don’t know me…
I am 19 years old, and live in the beautiful state of Washington. I have 7 younger siblings, 5 brothers and 2 sisters. My dad is an evangelist/church planter sent out as a team along with another man and his family from our amazing sending church in Oak Harbor, WA. (bbcoakharbor.org) I am a Christian by faith, and a Baptist by conviction. I believe that God’s Word (the King James Bible for those who speak English) is the complete authority for our lives and is absolute truth in and of itself…every word! (2 Timothy 3:16-17) All Scripture quotes given on this site will be from the KJV. :)

I love to make music, on the piano, violin, and with my voice. I enjoy writing songs of praise to The Lord. Playing games with family, baking, reading, dark chocolate, dark coffee, traveling, Irish style music, thrift store shopping, bacon, going out with friends, staying up late, British period dramas, classic movies, fancy dresses, and all things peppermint are just a few of the things that make me super happy. :D I am employed at the public library in my town, which has given me a lot of opportunities to share my faith with different people that I may never have met otherwise.  One of my very favorite Bible passages is Psalm 18:2 where it says,
“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

I really hope that through this blog, I can be a source of encouragement, and hopefully a Godly example to those reading it. I am looking forward to launching this new project, and meeting new people through it! Feel free to leave comments on anything and everything…just please remember to keep things respectful and kind! :) God bless each and every one of you throughout this next year!


Mykaela