Saturday, April 30, 2011

Random Music

Hey, I have a I-pod application down on the blog somewhere. I've set it to play automatically. I like it that way, but if it annoys you guys, let me know and I'll switch it, okay?

P31W: Skippers and Compassion

Sorry about the long wait on a post. The next two verses of Proverbs 31 we are going to skip for now because they pretty much discuss the topics we have already been over. And one verse touches on a topic that we will go over. I'll post them so you can read them!
Proverbs 31:18-19 "She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle."
Verse 20 is so good and its what I'm going to be talking about today. 
"She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy."
The Proverbs 31 Woman was known for her compassion and generosity. She looked out for people and met their needs.

I know that I could do so much better at this. I am not moved enough by the pain in this world to do something. I admit that the Spirit has moved me to give to someone before and I have ignored Him. I can think of so many ways that I can reach out to people. And no they don't have to be homeless or needing clothes. We can reach out to the needy in our church. Some people just need prayer, a friend or a hug. Some of the older people just need to be shown that they are special.

I'm stingy. I don't give enough to people. I'm stingy with my time, emotions and my possessions.

I can't help but think of Christ's perfect example. People were flocking around Him everywhere He went. Jesus was healing people and they loved Him for it! they followed Him and never left Him alone. If He wanted to be alone, He had to literally sneak away from the multitudes. He did this to pray. I would be so annoyed with people touching me and taking from me constantly. Remember, Jesus was a man. That would be exhausting! But did He ever lash out, complain or send them away? No. He loved them, healed them, and even fed them a couple times!

Matthew 14:14 "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."

Can I ever learn to be that self-less? That giving? That sacrificial? What an example! You know, a P31W needs this type of love and compassion. She has to be ready to give of herself all the time. I mean, having a family and dealing with people takes patience and sacrifice.

I have a friend who has a very compassionate heart. It's beautiful to watch. I've seen it in my friend since we were little kids and often its been an example to me. People who watch out and genuinely care for others stick out - majorly. Most people don't take the time to stop and think about how others are feeling or what they might need.

I liked the definition of compassion that gave. "A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering."

I've always had the feeling that compassion was a spiritual gift and I just didn't have it like other people. Now, some people may have it more naturally or better than others - no doubt about that - but its a command in the Bible.
1 Peter 3:8-9 "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."
I've never really thought about it like that. Its brings me back to the verse that tells us to "weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice!" Yes, that is what we are called to do as Christians. We need to be compassionate to others because God was compassionate! Our goal is to be like Him!  

How can you be more compassionate today? Are there people in your life you could bless with your generosity? Are there people you should be weeping with? Are there people who you tend to "shoo" who you ought to just spend some time loving?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"I Could Sing of Your Love Forever?!?"

I've noticed that I will be the first to say, "I love talking about the Lord!" or "I love singing praise songs!" or something like that, but this verse stopped me in my tracks today.
Psalm 31:1 "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Whoa. David sets a high standard here. "All times" and "continually". I don't give enough thought, praise, worship, acknowledgment, or discussion. I was trying to imagine what my life would look like if His praises were really continually on my lips. Why aren't they?

I serve an infinite God. So huge that I can't wrap my mind around even the tiniest portion of Him. He is too big for me. The stars bow before Him and the earth is His footstool. I am His servant, worthy of death, yet He brought me into the light and gave me life. He is my Rock and Shield. A Strong Tower when I am afraid. He is my Comforter. He is the Lover of my soul, who loves me with an intimate, unending love - the true kind that lasts forever. He brings me joy in the simple things of life. He is that constant friend that I can talk to when I wiping down tables at Chick-Fil-A. No matter where I am, He is. He always listens. He is not the type of friend that doesn't understand. When I cry, He does too, because He knows what I'm going through. He knows because He suffered the temptations and bore my sin, as His OWN, on the cross. When I laugh, I laugh with His joy, because it is firmly planted in everything I do.When I sleep, He doesn't - because He is always watching out for me. When I throw up half-hearted prayers, He still hears. when I fail Him for the 1,000,000th time, He still forgives me and takes me back into His arms.

What wondrous love is this! Why am I not going crazy at the magnitude of it all and screaming it from the roof-tops? Lord, forgive me for taking Your truly-awesomeness lightly!
Psalm 34:3 "Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!"
I was too tired to come up with a P31W post tonight - so I just went on a little rant - but be expecting one in the near future. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

P31W: Extra Pounds - A Deeper Meaning?

This post might seem mean. But hey, I can't argue! It's in the Bible! I am constantly amazed by what the Proverbs 31 Woman is noted for. Every thing about her was noble and pure that even little things, like strength are mentioned!


I don't know about you all, but a lot of times I don't feel very strong (in any of the "allies"). For a physical example, at work, I cannot lift the tea thing! We make sweet tea in this BIG tub, and then we have to lift it over our heads to pour it in the vats. Well, all the girls are pros. But when I try, I shake really bad and it splashes EVERYWHERE! I poured it all down me, the drive-through counter, and the cups was embarrassing. They all laughed (good natured-ly)! One girl said, "Girl, we have to toughen you up!"

Shes right. I'm not very tough.

Listen to this verse:
 31:17 "She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
Discipline. Oh no...the dreaded word. Yes, I think this all boils down to discipline! If we are letting the condition of our bodies slip do you think God is pleased? No. I don't. Not because He wants us to be body builders, but because He wants us to be disciplined. In this verse Paul is talking to the Corinthians about sexual immorality, but I think we can apply it to every area of our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything."
When we lay around and let our laziness and fatigue control us, I just can't see how God can be pleased with that. Now, I understand if people can't be active because of a health complication. But to be honest, I wonder if extra pounds could just be a sign of a lack of discipline. It takes discipline to be fit! Thats whats so hard about it!

Take America as an example. Discipline has declined. People are going nuts just because they have no boundaries and haven't been taught how to train/restrain themselves from things. Now, 1 in three teens are obese. Coincidence? I don't think so.

I'm trying to visualize the P31W. Would she be the type of woman who kinda lazed around and didn't really do much? She had extra pounds from sitting on the couch too long? NO! I think of a woman who works by the sweat of her brow. She has strength in her arms and doesn't have to have a man to help her with every little thing because she doesn't have the strength. This woman is NOT controlled by her eating habits.

The point is not "be skinny and beautiful". But don't be controlled by your body! We need to bring our bodies in submission to ourselves! Do we think we can run a Godly family if we give in to food every time it calls or can't pick up our children because we never toned our muscles?

Not likely.

That being said. Next time you feel that sudden "urge" to eat or skip the work out, don't follow! Not because you are going to get fat, but because its good to say "no" to your body to remind yourself that you are in control of it.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
 A lastly, its good to take care of your body. Its the Lord's. You represent the Creator. So be the artwork He created you to be. Don't let your fitness slide. No, no, no. You don't have to freak out about it or anything. The LAST thing I want to do is put that stress on you. Just make healthy choices.

 Don't let laziness hinder you from being the beautiful, complete woman He created you to be. He created you to not be enslaved to anything (or anyone). So don't be!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Under the Gun"

Anytime I have ever said "I'm busy!" seems little in comparison to what my life looks like right now. please pray for me! Tomorrow I get up at 5:00 to get ready and go to work. I work 8 hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'm...nervous to say the least. I'm praying that God will miraculously show me how to prioritize and manage work, school, music, church, my walk with Him, friends and everything else I do....I know I can do it. It will just have to be an adjustment. But it could be a painful one.

Adjustment #1: Going to bed early: I'm posting this at 9:21 and going straight to bed. I haven't gone to bed before 9:30 in a looooong time.

On the bright side, I had a wonderful resurrection Sunday as I hope you did too! I rejoiced with the body of Christ and praised our great Lord!

Be watching for a P31W post soon. I hope to get one out....tomorrow or Tuesday maybe?

Rejoice always!  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Will Be Quickly Changed

Everything that happened, all things that came to be, had been specifically designed and planned for this moment - the moment in time that would give history a meaning and life a purpose.

Jesus rose from the dead! Over death Christ conquered. We live because of this moment. Because God defeated death and made an escape! I will not stop and talk about the details of the resurrection, most of you know them and 90% of blogs are talking about it today.

But I don't want to forget. Sometimes, the resurrection becomes common place to me, and I don't allow it to stir me like it should. I should JUMP with joy with every thought of what my Savior did for me. I forget though.

I had the blessing of going to a cantata last Sunday. I love them, they are often so worshipful. One spoke of the second coming of Christ and said something along the lines of this. "The dead will be brought up and those who remain will be quickly changed."

"Those who remain will be quickly changed." When I heard those words, I prayed, "God, take me or come quickly. I want to experience that change." What a beautiful thought. When God returns, we are going to be changed into a heavenly form and we will be with Jesus!

I'm ashamed to say it, but I value my life on earth too much. At times I have thought, "God, I want you to come back and all, but, I mean, I'd like to get married, travel a little...ya know? Like fun stuff." How dumb of me to think that anything on earth can compare to 1 millisecond in the presence of Christ. How silly of me to believe that one minute longer on earth is going to benefit me! No, its not wrong to want marriage, but to value it that much? I think there is a problem.

God convicted me of this. What am I waiting on to happen? I felt like I could relax a little because "there is no way God could come back now -I haven't even lived my life yet". Sadly, I've known young people who barely made it into high school before their lives tragically ended. It could be the same with mine or Christ could return.

Prayer. I ask God to excite me about meeting Him. Boy, He listens to prayers. (FYI, don't think God doesn't hear. I'm always amazed by incredible results from Him. Believe and expect Him to listen and answer.) I am overwhelmed with joy at the thought of my risen Savior coming to get me. I mean, that is the ultimate love story! He is going to come and gather me in with the rest of His loved ones. I'm going to be in ETERNITY with God forever! I can't wait to hear Him speak my name. No one can say it like He can, I bet. :) He is going to set me on His throne with Him. He is going to give me a new name.

I can not wait. Sometimes the thought of death scares me, and I'm sure it will from time to time, but now I can say with Paul, "For me to live is Christ and to die is GAIN!" Whoo! COME GET ME LORD! I wonder why I ever let death get to me. Maybe this readiness to see the Lord is due to the season, I mean, we are celebrating the resurrection of the Lord. Or maybe its just come with a stronger relationship with God and maturity.

Are you excited about meeting the Lord? Get ready! Because you could face eternity at any moment. God makes a lot of promises, but tomorrow is not one of them. Are you waiting for the Lord and preparing yourself? Is it going to come up on you too quickly?

And finally, are there things in your life that you feel you can't meet Jesus without experiencing/doing? Like marriage, money, travel, or something? We all have things we want to accomplish, but I encourage you to give those to Him. He knows the timing and will give you peace that those things will happen when/if they are supposed to. I believe I have missed out on the joy of preparing for the Lord's return because I worry He will come back too soon. Don't make that horrible mistake!

Too soon? There is no too soon for God. He knows. And I rest.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

God's Love and Drugs: A Strange Analogy

Has anyone told you how much you mean to them recently? With all sincerity? Man, nothing feels better. This happened to me the other day, it was random too; I almost cried. It feels so good to be appreciated and loved.  I mean, humans are about love and relationships. And although this applies to romantic love, this is for anyone.

What about being hugged? Not a "hey-how-ya-doing-I-haven't-seen-you-since-yesterday" hug but a real one that shows that someone cares about you. Sometimes those make my day in ways people can't imagine. I love being hugged!

What about a promise? Has anyone made a promise to you? A special one?

If you want to show me that you care about me, there are a lot of ways to do it. I'm pretty easy to please, but nothing can compare to the love I receive from Jesus Christ, my Daddy and Savior.

Yesterday, someone said some very kind words to me. Ones that almost brought tears to my eyes. That person doesn't know what it did for me. But, when I read a scripture from the Bible, God opened my eyes (again) to how that love, tenderness, happiness and care from other people PALES in comparison to His. Yes, without the love I get from my relationships, I don't know how I would survive, but I KNOW I could NOT survive with out the Love of Jesus pulsing through my life.

My friend almost made me cry, this verse - this awesome promise from God - literally broke me down. Listen!
Psalm 30:4-7a "Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
Praise the Lord! I love the "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning". WHAT FALLEN HUMAN BEING CAN MAKE THAT PROMISE? Who can promise to always calm our fears? To always bring joy, bless, and healing for broken hearts? Who? None. Just my Jesus.

No matter who leaves hand prints on my life, who shares love with me, who impacts me and promises good things to me, my Jesus will always out-do them. Well, He doesn't have to, He already has. All He does is remind me who He is when I'm silly enough to forget for a moment. Earthly love brings me so much joy, but the Heavenly, unbeatable love is what we should be looking and searching for. That's the stuff that gives life true meaning and purpose!

When I was in the ER about a week ago, I had a little I.V. I noticed that everything the nurse put in there affected my body in some way. The morphine eased the pain and made me feel weird and I tasted the saline solution he pushed in. Strange, huh? He told me I would, and as soon as he said it, I thought, "What the heck is that taste?" It was SO GROSS! Contact solution? Yeah, thats what it tasted like.

But I thought it was neat that it all had an affect on me. That's the way God's love is (except the affects aren't disgusting). God shoots His love into our hearts and it should pump out and affect every portion of our lives! God's love needs to be constantly rushing through our veins, giving us life and strengthening us! Is it possible that we can live on the Love of God so much that we can taste it? *laugh*

I'll end with this verse. The end of the previous Psalm:
"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
I want to declare God's name and glory. It is a blessing, a gift and a shame - if kept to myself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

P31W: Goal-Setter and Goal-Achiever

Do you have any goals in life? I know I do. But sometimes I feel "goal-less" like I'm just floating here and there, doing school, going to church but not really accomplishing anything. Do you ever feel like that? Am I alone there?

I have things I'd like to accomplish, but I never really have "set out" to do them. I haven't put my best foot forward to make it happen. In the Bible, the Proverbs 31 Woman is commended for her determination and her goal-setting and goal-achiever . Listen:
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:16)
 Whoa. You can tell from this verse that the P31W knew exactly what she wanted. She had money saved, considered, bought and field and then planted a vineyard. I wish my life was a little more like that. A step by step process. First thing to remember: consideration. She looks at all possibilities. She ponders, and mulls things over before making a move. One of the first things we should do in considering something, is pray:
James 1:5“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
God is the source of ALL knowledge, so naturally, thats the place to start. Then, seek counsel from the older and wiser:
"Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory." (Proverbs 11:14)
 I can see her now. She drives by on her donkey and sees a for sale sign on a field. She knows that she can help her husband a make a profit on that field. So her wheels start turning. She mentions it to her best friend, her mom and husband. She prays for wisdom and listens to advice given to her.

She gathers her saving and buys the field.

This may seem elementary, but I have noticed that some people fuss and whine about decisions they have to make without making the decision. They put it off as long as possible and don't want to deal with the consequences of making the wrong choice. Yes, there are consequences for making the wrong decisions, but really, we can't know them all. Consequences for decisions are part of life! As long as it doesn't rebel against something in God's Word or puts someones life in danger its okay to just make a decision and whatever happens, happens. Dealing with results of choices is something that will mature us spiritually, whether the results are good or bad. (See Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung for great help on this.)

Buying the field wasn't a morally right or wrong decision the P31W had to make, so she took advice, prayed for help and bought it realizing she would have to handle the bad results with Godly character just like she would handle the good ones. :)

This is how it needs to be in our life. Goal making and then doing. We sit around to much. Find something you want/need to accomplish and do it. If you want to learn to knit well, pray that God will help you learn and bless you, get a book and KNIT! Even bless people with it by making blankets for Crisis Pregnancy Centers or something. If you feel like you aren't doing enough, do something. It takes discipline to learn a skill or help others or take on a responsibility, but discipline creates character in a Proverbs 31 Teen,  so we can't be afraid of it. It may require hard work, but the P31W sets a great example of rolling up her sleeves and diving into every task she encounters.

Here are some ideas:
-Memorize scripture
-Start a Bible study
-Have daily devotions
-Learn a skill or take a skill you have to the next level (this is great! Don't be satisfied using your talents half-way for the Lord!)
-Study something
-Have a yard sale to un-junk your house
-Get a job
-learn to cook

Seriously? I could go on forever. Whatever it is you feel like god has placed in your path to do, tackle it. Set a goal and accomplish. You may think you can't but God tells us that His people are "more than conquerors." What a promise!

Q4U: What goals are you setting out to accomplish and how do you plan on doing it? Just don't talk about it, draw a map of a step-by-step plan to get it done!

Monday, April 18, 2011

You Beautiful Girl - Never Forget It

Sometimes, a Proverbs 31 Teen just needs to be reminded how beautiful she really is. I was watching the gals at our school (that sounds totally creeper, but its not) and I realized how EVERY ONE OF US is beautiful. Yeah, some might be picked for the cover of a magazine before others, but I can't find a girl in our school who doesn't have some gorgeous quality about them. Isn't that awesome? God has made us so perfect and wonderful. And He loves us - for our beauties and imperfections!! That makes me want to scream with joy! We should praise the Lord for the beauty He has placed on earth and the creativity of His hands. We should glorify Him because He knows the hairs on our head and "it is good" in His sight.

I love this verse:
Revelation 4:11“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

Praise the Lord!

I'm going to remind this young lady how beautiful she is. Not because of her outside (even though it is beautiful) but because of who God has created her to be and because of her character that will last eternally when used for Christ.

I might do this every once in a while, to practice my skills on Corel Draw and just to remind us. Because we girls get to caught up in trying to be the next model, when really? We can just be who we are meant to be.

Sis, don't forget how beautiful you are.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

P31W: The Danger of Snoozing (Part 3)

Proverbs 31:16 "She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens."
 We've talked about how the Proverbs 31 Woman rises early and denies herself to serve others. We've talked about how she plans her sleep and has been noted in the Bible for it (wowzers).

I think there is yet another point that the girls of the 21st century can get from this verse about the P31W. So let's see...

Did you know that you can spiritually snooze? Not literally "sleep", but be spiritually deadened and unaware.

When we are physically sleeping, we don't hear the noises we would recognize when we are awake. We don't heart he clock strike 2a.m. and think, "Oh, it's two o'clock in the morning." We don't react to the refrigerator's ice tray emptying very loud, whereas when we are awake, we might jump. This is why, typically, robbers come at night. To take people off guard.

Can we be this way spiritually? I think so.

We can "snooze" when it comes to our walk with Christ, serving and seriousness of our sin. We can become unaware of things going on. And worst of all, not prepare for the day of Jesus Christ's return.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 "for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."

We must be looking forward to, and readying ourselves for the day of Christ's return and not let it sneak up on us like a thief. We MUST live like Christ will return any second and be waiting for Him!

Here is a powerful verse from Mark 13:
35-37 "Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Another great translation, KJV says, "I say unto all, watch!"

Obviously, God isn't telling us to physically stay awake. That would be a bit impossible. So He must be referring to spiritually sleeping. We must not fall asleep spiritually because we will not be ready for the Lord's return and we will find that we have done nothing with our lives or worse, that we never prepared for Him and have to spend eternity away from Christ. (See the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. This is a great illustration, but I don't have the room in this post to talk about it!)

So, this brings a question: What is deadening us or making us "fall asleep" spiritually? What is working against us in our journey of purity and Christ-likeness? The answers may come immediately to you. For some it's boy obsession, beauty, facebook, movies, or laziness. For others, it may be harder to pin-point exactly what is distracting us. It could be our selfish pride fooling us into believing that we don't need prayer time in the morning. Whatever it is, me must recognize it and make sure that they don't get higher priority in our lives than God.

The day of Christ's return is coming fast, so we have to watch for Him, making ready ourselves and telling others of His return as well. We don't know when it will be, so don't be lazy and let time sneak up on you! Be waiting and don't be distracted!

Friends and Fellow Bloggers...I have not died.

Wow...its been FOREVER since I posted. Well, its hasn't been too long, but long for me since I post about every other day. I haven't been on the computer at all, except to write a paper and answer some emails. Two lovely young ladies have been staying with our family for over a week now. We've had LOTS of fun, so I haven't even bothered with the blogs. :)

But, an update: I start work today (finally)! Prayer would be appreciated. Just that I would seize every opportunity to be a light for Christ! It's easy to get complacent about sharing God's love, but I don't want to be! I want to boldly declare Him wherever I go and whatever I'm doing!

Hope to get a P31W post up soon! Maybe I can get one before I leave today (if all goes well).

Thanks for still keeping my hits up and for checking back!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Academic Cranial Torture

There are so many things I want in life. So many dreams I want to pursue. So many goals I've made...realistic or far-fetched. There are so many things I want to do for Christ. So many people i want to reach the gospel with.

There are so many things I want to be, that I'm not.

Sorry, I'm contemplating all this because I keep getting college stuff in the mail. Carson-Newman, Bryan College, Maryville College, the Art Institute in Nashville and EIG have all been sending information to me. I'm completely astounded that life is capable of going by so fast. I can't be 17. It's like a dream. Well, a nightmare.

I'm reminded more and more that I HAVE to live every moment of my life giving glory to Christ, because those moments are the only ones that will last eternally.

That being said, I have to take my ACT tomorrow. Please please pray. I'm nervous and trying not be overwhelmed. I know that God is the source of my knowledge, and that is SUCH an incredible comfort. Needless to say, I'm under pressure to get a good grade.

Sorry, about the lack of real posts. I have company here and we have had a great time together. Today, Shiphrah and I had a photo shoot and it was a blast!! I will post something a little more in depth very soon.

Rejoice in the Coming King!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stress...This Will Be a Happy Post

i'm going to vent, so don't feel like you need to read this. ;)

I'm stressed. Yes. Yes. I know. I shouldn't be stressed. Stress is not good. But there are a ton of things going on. I miss my niece, I miss some old friends I never talk to anymore, and I've done something horrible...I've let my ACT stress me out. I take it on Saturday and I'm just praying that I don't totally fail. I can't explain to you all how slow I think, and under pressure, it's just going to be worse. And with graduation coming up, I just keeping wondering if I made the right decision to stay back. I keep thinking about college and how I could be there soon...but, I'm trying not to let it get me down. Satan is trying to confuse me. I made my decision with a clear head and God is going to bring good if I serve Him. *is convincing self*

This picture made me laugh very very hard today.

Please pray for me.

And I'm tired, not to mention the allergy head-aches I keep getting. >.<

I need to do better putting myself aside when I'm stressed. I can be really short with people. Not that I have anything against them, I don't know, I guess I just get uptight? But, God has been convicting me of that. I need to be a P31W and take a deep breath. Breath slowly and tell myself that its going to be okay and I must serve the Lord with my whole heart, just like any other day.

Enough of my issues. I'm going to talk about some things that made my day. Andrew, Timmy and Richard's Manly Men Man Scent commercial in drama class. I thought I was going to die. Those three are very gifted in drama and HILARIOUS!

Seeing Carlee. I missed her.

McDonald's french fries. Yummy. Not healthy, but lovely.

Singing "Lord, You're Holy". The words of the song are soooo beautiful and soooo encouraging.

Finding out that Kirstin is taking her ACT on Saturday too, so I won't be all alone in the world.

Rocking on my recital piece.

Receiving funny year book pictures.

A hectic year book class.

And last but not least....Nutella.

I know this is a very out of character post for me. But I wanted to be random. And silly. I needed too. And I feel better. If you have actually read this far, then sorry you wasted your time. Lol.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

P31W: The Danger of Snoozing (Part 2)

Discipline. No one truly jumps for joy at the word. I mean, who actually likes training yourself to do something that your natural tendency in NOT to do? In the area of sleep and laziness, I could, and I will venture to say that you could, use a lot more discipline.
Proverbs 31:15 "She rises while is yet night and provides food for her family and servant girls."
Like I said in my previous post, "Who thinks of being virtuous when you are lying in bed?" The P31W is SO FULL of integrity that the time of the morning that she gets up is written down in the Bible to be modeled and praised. That amazes me. Is it possible that something as little as when we wake up can please the Lord? Will the Lord praise us for something so small? The Bible presents her as a woman to model because she awoke before the sun to care for others.

The Proverbs 31 Woman knows that God wants her to be diligent and not lazy. She knows that He judges them harshly and makes very strong promises to them.
 Proverbs 12:24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.
Proverbs 13:4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
 Proverbs 15:19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
There is danger in getting into the habit of staying up late and getting up late. We live to love and serve the Lord. Not sleep and be lazy. Notice in this last verse it compares the lazy to the righteous. That's a stout comparison. That is saying that the righteous WILL NOT BE LAZY! Therefore, we can conclude that in order to be righteous, you must not be lazy. God says that a lazy man in his bed is like a door on hinges.

I think it's a Chinese Proverb that says, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise." There is a lot more truth to that statement than we credit it for. And the Bible supports it! It talks of how prosperity comes to the righteous worker and poverty to the lazy man.

Now, this isn't saying that if you often get how from work at 11pm that you need to shoot happily out of bed at 5 the next morning. Each persons schedule and lives are different, so I'm not suggesting the "one-size-fits-all" way. But, we honestly need to examine ourselves.

Eg: If 8 hours if enough time for me to sleep, and I decide to go to bed at 2:00am in the morning, this probably means that I'm going to wake up at 10:00am. What are the hours of the day when I can serve people and Christ most efficiently? Is waking up at 10 going to encourage me to commit my day to the Lord in prayer, or will I have to run out the door just to get to school on time?

Personally, I like getting up around 6-7 every morning. It allows you to start the day fresh and on time with the rest of the world, I'm ahead of schedule and have time to spare. My problem is thus: I sometimes don't go to bed early enough to support that enthusiasm. If 8 hours is the ideal amount of sleep, then I need to go to bed at 10. I don't most times, so I end up with tired head-aches and cranky attitudes.

Try these questions: Am I indulging myself in sleep? Am I getting to little, so that I'm a crab and don't glorify God in the way I treat people? Am I being counterproductive?

Be realistic with yourself. Just because it's a Wednesday and you don't have anything to do until after lunch, doesn't mean that you should sleep until it's time to go. As with EVERYTHING in our lives we have to ask a determining question: "Is this pleasing to the Lord? Am I glorifying His name with something as mundane as my sleep schedule?" Perhaps you could even talk to your mom or a friend about how they view the way you sleep.

Sounds stupid, but then again, the Proverbs 31 Woman is noted in the GREATEST BOOK OF ALL TIME for the way that she scheduled her zzzzs.

Read this verse. If you cannot do everything in your life whole heartedly as unto the Lord, then something needs to change. But there is GOOD NEWS! There is a God, Jesus Christ, who will always help us to become like Him if we ask Him. And He is the ROCK that never changes!

Colossians 3:23-25 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism."

Monday, April 4, 2011

P31W: The Danger of Snoozing (Part 1)

When the covers are pulled over my head, it's still dark outside, and I want to go back to sleep, the last thing on my mind is being a Proverbs 31 Woman. I hit the alarm clock once, twice, sometimes three, and even four times.

In this study about the P31W and how she lived her life, I am not surprised to see a the reoccurring theme of diligence. She is a woman who is never behind schedule, on top of things, and continuously working hard in everything she does!

Verse 15 in Proverbs 31 says:
"She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls."
The P31W had a houseful of people and the fact that they needed to be cared for was something that didn't pass her. She was pro-active in caring for her family! Let's take ourselves back to her time period. Preparing food was no little task. It was huge. She didn't have wonder-bread and pre-sliced turkey breast. Wheat had to be milled into flour, and any meat had to be *gag* prepared all the way from living-and-breathing-with-fur-stage into patties for the grill (okay, well I know that technically they wouldn't be eating hamburgers or even beef for that matter, but you get my point). And she rose "while it is yet night" (ESV) to get it done.

Have you noticed that she is not daunted by any task?

Today, thank goodness, preparing food doesn't take that much hard work and energy, but I don't think "preparing food" is the lesson we - the gals of today - are supposed to gather from this. Constantly throughout the chapter we are seeing that the P31W served. Always. To everyone, especially her family! As teens, we don't have the responsibility of feeding a family or servants, but as Christian women we have the responsibility of service to others. In Galatians 5, Paul is talking to the Galatians about our freedom in Christ. I love verses 13-14. It sums up service for us!
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”"
We are to serve in obedience to God!

I don't know what the opportunities for service are in your life. Maybe it's helping your brother or sister with school, your mom with breakfast, or writing a thank-you card to the elders in your church. Maybe there is a nursing home, or park that you could be a service in. Maybe you work a job, blog, play piano, or frisbee golf. But WHATEVER you are doing, there are always, always ways to serve people. You don't have to look outside your own home. An encouraging hug, a phone call to your grandmother or sweeping the garage for your dad are all acts of service! :) So don't feel like you can't serve people because you are young and may not have lots of responsibilities! Quite the opposite. Listen to this verse; it should still every fear you have that you may not be able to do anything!
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)"
I've said this before and I'll say it again! Prayer is the answer. If you express to God your desire to serve other people, then He will show you. Grab a pencil and a piece of paper and just sit in the presence of God, quietly asking Him to show you. He will! As you think of ideas through the next couple of days, write them down and give them a shot.

We can spiritually "snooze" if we neglect the importance of serving other people. We won't be growing in Christ if we live for ourselves only. Just like if we over-sleep and don't get out enough, we will get fat and lazy! If we "snooze" through the Christian life and don't exercise Godliness through service, we will get lazy and believe that others can handle it (Which they might be able to, but that's not the point. :D) and we don't really need to lift a finger. We can't let our service muscles get weak. Use them! They will only benefit us when kept up and challenged!

I love, love, love this verse and my next few posts will be about a few different applications to it. This is only one of the things that I believe God is communicating! So stay tuned...

Be a P31W, stop snoozing and SERVE!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Squishing Roses

There is a little girl that I know that I am 100% sure that I would lay my life down for. My almost two-year-old niece, Brooklyn. That girl is a ball of energy! Full of fire, smiles and hugs. She has curly, ringlet hair that is frizzy as ever, but just adds to cuteness.

"Brookin" the other day kept pointing to a scar on my leg and saying "Ow." I said, "Yeah, it's an owie. It hurt!" Then she repeated kissed it trying to make it all better! She is such a joy and her eyes soak in everything, trying to learn.

I have been thinking a lot about her innocence. When things all around her are going bad, she still sits happy at the dinning room table, eating her grapes. In her eyes, we have her covered and there is nothing to worry about. She will jump to me from the table because there is no doubt in her mind that I'm going to catch her.

Often, I think I should be more like her. She is so trusting of fallible human beings. Yet, I sometimes have trouble trusting a infallible God.

Only moments ago Brooklyn ran from my room. We were jumping on the work-out trampoline together. Jumping, she saw something on my dresser that she wanted to take a closer look at - my purple rose mom picked from the garden for me. She pointed and I brought it to the floor to show her. Her immediate instinct was to wrap her fat little fingers around it,  and she did. But I said, "No, no Brookin! Gentle! We have to be gentle or the rose will break." She looked at me confused. She tried to smash it again and I had to remind her again. And again. And again. Then I told her smell it, she did and then tried to take a bite out of it. :D I guess it smelled good!
Eventually, she got it. She stuck her index finger out, quickly rubbed it across the flower and said, "Hentle".

I think we are this way with God. God has to reminds us of His promises over and over and over. He has to say "I love you!" and "Don't be afraid!" many times until we really believe it! This with any lesson. Little children learn by repetition and so do we! I know for me that I didn't really believe that there could be something in my life that God wanted to use, but now, I believe it - even though I still struggle. And the only reason I have learned this lesson is because God has taught me so many times! After continuous repetition, I finally get the point. Gods promises and His statements as simple as "I love you" start to change me. At first, just on the outside, but then the inside. I stop just hearing the words and saying "I believe it". They change me and I start ACTING like I believe it!...whatever the lesson may be.

It's hard to be patient with kids. I have four nephews and a niece and sometimes you want to go crazy, but I am so inspired by our wonderful Savior. Isn't it great to remember that the Lord's mercies are going to be new every morning? He isn't ever going to yell in frustration at us and wonder "why we don't get it". He is always going to be there, gently pointing us the right direction and teaching us through His sacred word. Never angry or impatient when we fail and squish the "task" or "rose" He has given to us.

My Father is amazing!

The rose...well, lets just say that it doesn't look as good as it did. Dark lines in the roses petals indicate that someone had tried to squish it, but that's okay. A lesson was learned and there are always plenty of roses. :)