Follow by email and never miss a post!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fun Post: August and September Favorites

Hooray! Another Favorites post! :) Also, Happy National Coffee day to all my followers. May your coffee be strong, dark, creamy and satisfying. ;)

I like to do favorites posts once a month, but as it was around September 15th before I realized that I hadn't done one for August, I decided to postpone it. ;) My next few months are going to be insanely busy, (more on that to come), so I may end up posting much less frequently even than I did in the summer. I hope not, but it may turn out that way. :/ Thank you for understanding!! Without further ado, some of my summer favorites! I've been:

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. (She is most known for her Anne of Green Gables series). Personally, though so far I've only read the first book in this trilogy, I'm not sure why the Emily books are not considered as much of a classic as the Anne books are! Sweet, relatable characters, awesome vocabulary, fantastic plots...what more can you ask for? ;)

The Walls are Talking by former abortion clinic worker, Abby Johnson. This book is heartbreaking in every way. And yet so, so important. Though this book is grievous to read at any age, I don't recommend it for younger readers. It is a collection of stories from many different clinic workers who left their work after realizing the horrors of what actually goes on inside those walls. They share their stories in honest, open ways, revealing from an insider's point of view how the abortion industry destroys and shatters the lives of the women it claims to be helping. I pray that the women who were brave enough to contribute find healing and redemption through Christ! Some already have, and it is so precious to hear their testimonies.

I started reading a few other books, but can't really recommend any of them, as I'm either not finished, or they turned out to be not my style. ;P

My kayak!! I got a used one from Craigslist, and have SO much enjoyed paddling down the Columbia. :) Wenatchee has TONS of riverfront parks open to the public, so it's easy to drop it in and run it down river a few miles, and just get picked up at another park dock! I enjoy being on the river so much. It is peaceful and quiet, (I stay fairly near the shore so there's no crazy currents ;). I love to stop paddling and just drift along for a while, enjoying the beauty. The kids have really loved being able to borrow it for rides as well!

Not as much as I should be. If I could, I would be working on my projects all day, but a little thing called life gets in the way. ;) I hope to tell you more about said projects soon, though!

Hanging out with...
Wolves. Yes, wolves. We took a trip to the fair on family day when most of the kids got in for free, and there was an animal show there. The guy had snakes, lizards, marsupials, birds of prey, and a cage with three wolves in it. He asked for a volunteer and I raised my hand. When he called me up there, he said, "Go get in the wolf cage." Allllrighty then. On it. ;P They do play rougher than dogs, which is to be expected, but what cooler way to have a hole torn in your skirt than by a wolf? :'D They had very beautiful eyes, and super soft, thick fur. It was definitely a fun thing to experience! Kourage enjoyed holding a few snakes, my mom and I got kissed by a lizard, and Malachi held a giant lizard. :) Pretty cool all around!

Travelling to...
Sumas, Washington for a ladies' retreat with my church women. Last year it was so fun and special, so I had high expectations for this year. I was not disappointed! From absolutely decadent food, to Garden of Eden worthy landscape, trails, and flowers at the retreat center, to staying up until 3:15 talking, to convicting was amazing. It was such a blessing to spend time with friends and sisters in Christ, some of whom I only see a few times a year. Even the long drive over was fun, being able to talk with the ladies from Blessed Hope without small ones around. ;) Plus, my grandma was in Canada at the time, only 8 miles from the retreat center, and was able to stop in for a couple hours!! I hope this retreat goes on to become a cherished tradition! :)

Excited (over the moon, elated, thrilled, exuberant) about...
The missions trip coming up. ;) I am so happy to see things coming together, tickets have been purchased, and music is being prepared. Also coming up in the next couple months are the following: my 21st birthday (on Wednesday! ;), Family Conference with some friends from Alaska, my parents travelling to a conference in North Dakota, the missions conference in Oak Harbor (a highlight of every year!), a missionary friend visiting and preaching for us, and Thanksgiving--early, since I'll be leaving for Fiji on Thanksgiving day. Whew! All of these things are so exciting! I am praying that God will do great things through them, and most of all, that I will keep the right focus through all of it. And that I won't become stressed or worried about the future. (Anyone else struggle with that?) I am truly looking forward to seeing how He will work in the many adventures that are coming up. :)

Going through...
God's Word in 90 days. As a countdown for the trip, I am going through the Bible in 3 months. Last year I did it in one, (see this post), and although I enjoyed doing that, it definitely is a bit easier going through it slower! :) I'm reading 15-20 chapters a day instead of around 35. I love the feeling of accomplishment as each book moves into the next, and reading about the thread of God's love and redemption plan that runs through the whole Bible. 

Thankful for...
Some extra work on the side with Amazon. That will be so helpful for the trip! God's guidance and direction. Good, uplifting music. A short camping trip with the family. Apples--tart, sweet, and crunchy. Marco's a video message app, and it's been so special for keeping in touch with my friend Kimberly, who is living in Taiwan until February!! :O Late night talks with friends. Somehow knowing that you can talk for a long time is so precious. :) Photoshoots with Miriam. I promise you, at least 75% of my phone pictures involve her in some way. ;P She's so CUTE though!!! Heavy blankets, as the nights are already getting chilly here. (I'm still not quite ready to let go of summer, though. October 1, I might pull out my boots. I renounce those people who start shrieking about pumpkin spice when it's still 80 degrees outside. XD) 

Well, that's it for today! What are some of your highlights from the last couple of months? Hope you have a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Boldness to Enter

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

The priests in the temple were quietly, reverently going about their duties in the temple that day. There was a high Sabbath, the Passover, the very next day, and preparations were being made for the holy celebration of the Jews' deliverance from Egypt. Perfect lambs would have their blood shed and poured out for the sins of others. Unleavened bread and bitter herbs would fill the mouths of devout Jews all over Jerusalem, the very next day.

None of the people could come into God's presence freely, to pour out their hearts in praise and worship, because the way was not yet made into that Holy of Holies. A thick, impenetrable curtain hung in the temple, a visible, tangible separation between the sons of men and the holy presence of God. 

Until that day. As the priests prepared the altar for the lambs of sacrifice the next day, just outside the city, God's Perfect Lamb was being killed. As the bitter herbs were gathered, the Messiah was tasting the bitterness of death. As the unleavened bread was to be broken, the Living Bread himself was being broken and His blood poured out for the sins of the entire world. 

So few realized how holy, how perfect, how just was the sacrifice happening on this day! To the spectators standing by, it was either a day of great joy that the man who had caused so much chaos was finally gone; or a day of deepest grief that the Saviour was being crucified. I wonder if any person watching the crucifixion of our Lord realized that the way was being paved, the door to the very presence of Almighty God was being torn open by the death of the One on the middle cross!

In the dim silence of the temple, the earth began to shake. Faint tremors at first, but building, growing, until it seemed as if the very skies themselves must be falling, crushing the fragile world to pieces. 

The temple was no longer silent. The roar of the earth, crying out at the death of its Creator, echoed through the massive halls. Pottery shattered, metal instruments and vessels clashed to the floor, and priests and worshippers alike scrambled for cover from falling dust and rubble.

And then, as the precious Lamb took His last breath, it happened.

The veil, the wall that none dared to touch or pass--even the high priest could be struck dead on the one day a year he entered into it--tore apart from top to bottom. Can you imagine the sound it must have made as the separation between man and God's holy presence was ripped in two? Historical records indicate that the veil was at least 4 inches thick, woven of thick, strong materials, and so heavy it took 300 men to move it. This in itself is an amazing thing--it could not have been torn simply from the earthquake. It was the hand of God, removing the barrier and opening the way to His throne because of the sacrificial death of His only Son. It is so powerful to hear of this act of God...It demonstrates so clearly that the work of salvation truly was complete. When Christ said, "It is Finished", it was. Forever.

Praise God that we no longer need to live under the bondage of the law, offering sacrifices for sin day by day! I am so thankful that I can now come boldly before the throne of grace! I can talk to God any time of day, wherever I am, with the knowledge that through Christ, I am enabled to do so. What a wonderful God we serve!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Mind Stayed on Jehovah

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

These verses are fairly well known, so much so that I feel we tend to overlook them sometimes. Just because a verse is embedded in your mind does not diminish its power! 

One important thing I have noticed recently is the word "mind" in verse 3. 

Who will The Lord keep in perfect peace and give everlasting strength to? The one whose mind is stayed on Him. The man or woman who chooses to make their thoughts be focused on the things of God instead of the world. The one who has temptation come knocking and turns from it with the knowledge that to succumb would be to grieve the heart of a holy God. The one who keeps their thoughts from straying to places they should not go. 

When all is said and done, where does every sin start? In the mind. You can't steal something before you think about stealing something. You can't lie without creating the lie in your mind first. You can't become bitter and angry at someone unless you first thought over your perceived wrongs from them and chose not to deal properly with the anger. 

When your mind is stayed and fixed on the Most High, low thoughts have no place. When you are focused on the Holiest of the Holy, unholy thoughts can't enter. When you are trusting the One whose perfect compassion and love redeemed you from eternal death, how can hateful or unloving thoughts take root? 

To the one whose mind is stayed on God, there is promised perfect peace. Freedom from turmoil and unrest. A place of refuge under the shadow of His mighty wings. There is also promised everlasting strength. Strength to fight against the temptation that pounds in from all sides. Strength to stand when others are falling into sin. Strength to walk in His footsteps even when the path becomes rough and jagged. 

It takes faith and purpose of heart to keep our minds stayed on Jehovah. It's not something that will happen in one instant. But how worthwhile it is when more and more of our time is spent meditating on the things of God and on His Word, instead of filling our minds with the things of earth! How precious it is when the love of Christ begins to overshadow the temptations that come, giving us strength to endure and resist them! Is it not worth the effort? If we love Him, we should be keeping His commandments, and they are not grievous! 

This week, I want to focus my heart and mind on the King who saved me, turning away from the chaos of a wicked world. I want to fight in the strength of The Lord against the temptation that will come. I want to reach out to the lost around me with love, knowing that in Christ lies the peace that they seek.

Will you join me?