Tuesday, December 11, 2007
These are the words of Betty Stam, a Christian killed in China during the 1930s. Betty and her husband, John, were murdered by communists during the Chinese Civil War, leaving their baby daughter behind. This quotation captures the desires of a heart fully committed to serving Christ. Would to God that we each may have this same desire and pray each morning as we wake. I must confess that I fall so short of such commitment.
*This quotation was taken from "A Woman After God's Own Heart," by Elizabeth George. The information about Betty Stam can be found here.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
As the day in which we take time to give thanks to God for all His blessings approaches, I can't help but to sing this hymn. The Lord has been so good to me throughout all my life, and especially throughout this last year. There are so many things for which to be thankful that I couldn't possible cease from giving praises to Him.
I am thankful for the blessing of health. I am thankful for the blessing of the food I have to eat every day. I am thankful for the abundance of clothes in my closet. I am thankful for the comfortable bed I have to sleep on. I am thankful for the many cars parked outside our house.
I am thankful for my sight which allows me to see all His beautiful creations. I am thankful for my hearing which allows me to hear His truth and the singing of praises. I am thankful for my voice which allows me to share the Good News and praise Him. I am thankful for my sense of smell which allows me to enjoy the beautiful flowers and fragrances of the season created by Him. I am thankful for my hands which allow me to grasp the beauty around me and feel as if I am touching my Savior Himself.
I am thankful for the church I am a member of. I am thankful for the physical building where I can come out of the world and worship His name. I am thankful for the fellowship with my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I am thankful for the Truth I can read, hear, and believe. I am thankful for faithful ministers who are diligent to teach His flock.
I am thankful for the recent sweet times I've had in communion with the Lord. I am thankful for the times when I can fall before His throne and "find grace to help in time of need." I am thankful for answered prayers and for being led by the Holy Spirit. I am thankful for His mercy which is new every morning. I am thankful for the knowledge and hope that one day I will praise Him more perfectly.
I am thankful for His perfect will and plan for my life. I am thankful for the blessing of this sweet gentleman. I am thankful for the patience and the leading the Lord has shown the two of us. I am thankful for the joy he has brought to my life. I am thankful for his encouragement to love the Lord more perfectly. I am thankful for the peace of God in my heart.
Psalm 92:1-2 "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night"
Psalm 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving."
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Today, was probably one of the most laughter-filled days I've had this semester. I couldn't stop laughing at what the students were saying. I'm going to share three incidents with you, but remember that they are not going to seem as funny as they were in person.
#1: I walk into the classroom and a boy, S, walks up to show me his outfit.
S: I'm wearing as much camo as possible today, so I can be in the army when I get older.
Me: Wow, that is a lot of camo.
S: Do you think it's enough to be in the army?
Me: Oh, I definitely think so!
#2: I noticed one student sitting in her desk coloring a picture, which is rather unusual. This student usually has to be told what to do about 10 times each morning before everything gets done.
Me: C, good morning! How are you this morning?
C: (sigh) I'm just so exhausted.
Me: Why are you so exhausted?
C: Because I have to dress like the 70's for K's party, and I just don't know how I'm going to do that.
Me: Oh, K is having a 70's birthday party?
C: Yeah, and I just don't know how to dress like the 70's. Everything is going to be soooo big. K, is it alright if I just wear normal clothes?
*At this point, I had to walk away because I couldn't carry on the conversation any longer and cover up my laughing.
#3: I noticed that one student, J, was looking at his book during reading time. He usually isn't doing what he's supposed to be, so when I catch him doing the right thing, I try to praise him and focus on his good work.
Me: J, can you read this book to me?
J: Well, I'm just taking a picture walk. (This is when they just look at the pictures throughout the book.)
Me: Well, when you're done can I hear you read a little bit?
J: I just don't think I can.
Me: Why not?
J: I'm just not into this kind of thing.
Me: What kind of thing?
J: This 3 bears story, I'm just not into that kind of thing.
Me: (trying to hold back laughter) Well, I'm sorry, but during reading you have to be reading the book that the teacher assigns. You don't get to pick.
There were several other things said throughout the day that made me laugh, but these were definitely the funniest.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Monday, October 29, 2007
We'll wait till Jesus comes,
And we'll be gathered home.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The past 20 months have been a huge learning experience for me. My eyes were opened to a whole different culture than the one I am use to. Even though my Little Sister lives in the Highland area (which is generally considered rather culturally homogeneous), her home culture is radically different from my own. It was enlightening, and often saddening, to share with her in some of the situations that occurred in her home. I can't go into those circumstances for confidentiality purposes, but it will suffice to say they were not ideal situations.
Sadly, the times Dani and I were able to spend together grew very few and far between over the past few months. School and other commitments were creating difficulties in arranging meetings. I knew that I was no longer able to provide the support and relationship that Dani needs from a Big Sister, which led me to close the match. This will allow the case workers at Big Brothers Big Sisters to find a new Big Sister for Dani who will hopefully have more time to commit to the relationship. This was a hard decision for me to make, but I feel like it is the best for both of us.
I will never forget some of the experiences we enjoyed together throughout our relationship. Some of the most memorable include baking cookies together, watching movies, going to Raging Rivers, and visiting the zoo. Dani and her family made a lasting impression on my life. I pray that the Lord might continue to bless her and her family and that she might be able to remember the good experiences we shared.
As we were doing the paperwork to close the match yesterday, Dani was asked what she liked about being a Little Sister and her reply was, "It was the best time of my life!" This was great to hear, but also made me realize that I really will miss being her Big Sister.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Psalm 51:10-12 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."
Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
As most of you know, school is back in session for those of us here in southern Illinois. Yesterday I began my junior year, diving head-first into the Special Education program. I am now taking all special ed. classes. Well, I do have one Speech Pathology class, but it's part of the special ed. program. The School of Education created a new special ed. program that is in it's first year. Part of this new program is an improved practicum curriculum that has us going into the classroom earlier. So, I get to start observing and helping in a primary class on Thursday. The exciting thing is that I have been placed in the elementary school where I went to school. I'm very excited!
Since Strem's post, "I'm Most Me When..." reminded me of something that might be done on the first day of school, I have decided to make my own list. I borrowed a few ideas from Strem. And, these are in no particular order.
I am most me when...
*I am reading a good book
*I am cooking or baking something for my friends or family
*I am sewing something new to wear
*I pray and read my Bible before I fall asleep
*I sleep in my own bed with new, crisp sheets
*I am playing with children
*I am holding a baby
*I drive with my windows down in the spring or fall
*I take a walk by myself
*I have a good heart-to-heart conversation with a friend
*I am alone in the quietness of my room
*I am worshipping in church
*I am helping someone in need
*I laugh so hard that I start crying
*I talk to my Grandpa about our ancestors
*I make up silly songs about anything and everything
*I write a note or send a card to someone I care about
*I visit with an older person about their past experiences
*I eat ice cream
Thursday, August 16, 2007
*All the recipes are from "Simply Centsible Breakfasts," an ebook by Crystal Paine.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I'm so thankful that the Lord burdened Elizabeth and Karla to make the trip up here and that He provided the way. It was sad to have them leave Monday morning, but I spent the day (and still today) reminiscing about the great weekend. It also made me anxious for the time when we will all be together forever, bowing at the feet of Our Lord and singing "Worthy art Thou." Until that glorious time, I'm just so thankful for the bonds of love and that bind such hearts together, no matter the distance.
Here's a picture of the ladies from Sunday evening.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
What if the church for heaven's sake
What if His people prayed
And what would happen if we prayed
What if the life that we pursue
What if His people prayed
He said that they would hear
If My people called by My name
What if His people prayed
He said that they would hear
What if His people prayed
I had never heard this song before, but it really resonated within me. I didn't quite pick up on all the words the first time, but one verse in particular really stood out to me. The fourth verse says, "What if the life that we pursue came from a hunger for the truth; What if the family turned to Jesus, stopped asking Oprah what to do." I stopped to think about the truth in this statement. So many people turn to anyone and everyone for help before they will turn to the Lord. I wasn't too far into my thought process when I felt that guilty pang in my heart. I am just as guilty of this as the next person.
Job came to mind as I was thinking about this. Job had the three "miserable comforters" with him in the midst of his trials. When his friends caused him more grief rather than comfort, Job then turned to the Lord. What if Job had prayed to the Lord first?
Then I thought about Nehemiah. After hearing about the horrendous situation in Jerusalem, Nehemiah turned first to the Lord. He was quick to kneel before His throne and seek His counsel.
I'm afraid too many of us are guilty of following after the footsteps of Job rather than those of Nehemiah. What if His people prayed? Why do we fail to turn to Him in every situation? It certainly isn't easier to turn to others for help. Your friends and Oprah aren't always available when you need them. Jesus is. Your friends and Oprah might not understand the depth of your troubles. Jesus does. Your friends and Oprah can't calm the seas or command the waves to be still. Jesus can.
We know the Scriptures command us to "pray without ceasing." We know that the Lord answers the prayers of His children. The last verse of the song says, "He said that they would hear, His promise has been made, He’s answered loud and clear."
What if His people prayed?
Saturday, August 04, 2007
We spent 12 fun-filled hours at Cedar Point yesterday. In that 12 hours, we rode a total of 18 different rides. As I mentioned in the previous post, Cedar Point is known as "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World," with 17 roller coasters. We rode 14 of the 17 roller coasters.
The first roller coaster that we rode was the Top Thrill Dragster. The ride begins by launching from 0 to 120 mph in 3.8 seconds!!!! It then climbs up 420 feet in the air, rotating 90 degrees, crossing over the top, then dropping the 420 feet back down to the ground, at a 90 degree angle, all in 17 seconds. I can't even begin to describe the feeling of going 0 to 120 mph in 3.8 seconds, or falling 420 feet at a 90 degree angle, but it was incredible. It was definitely a great way to start the day.
The awesome part of the experience is that none of us had a clue as to what each ride was going to entail. We made the mistake of under-estimating a few of the rides. When we got off those, we kind of just looked at each other, surprised at how amazing the ride was. There were also a few that we got really excited about, only to be let down by their lack of thrill.
The Lord was so gracious to us on the trip. We were blessed with safety on the road, safety in the park, good conversation, and good health. One of the greatest blessings of the trip was the free ice water that the park provided for the visitors. At every concession stand, you were able to receive a free cup of ice water. We definitely took advantage of the water and we were so thankful each time. I can't even count the number of times that we commented on how wonderful it was that the park offered the ice water.
For those of you thinking about taking a family vacation any time soon, I would definitely recommend visiting Cedar Point. It is absolutely worth every single penny of what it costs to get in the park. (Which is actually not very many pennies. It is very reasonably priced.)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
We're off to visit The Roller Coaster Capital of the World: Cedar Point!! We will be spending all of Friday at the amusement park. I'm very excited. Please be prayerful for a safe journey and God-honouring fellowship.Hopefully I will be able to give a full report when I arrive home on Saturday.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Yesterday I had the opportunity to have a little Bible discussion with the two youngest children that I watch. Eden (6-years-old) asked me who the first person on earth was. I don't really remember what prompted this question, but I think she kind of just asked it out of the blue. After pausing for a moment to think how I should approach answering the question, I told her that Adam was the first person on the earth. She was a little confused about who Adam was, but once I brought Eve into the conversation, she understood. We talked about how God created Adam from the dust of the ground and later created Eve from Adam's rib. She didn't understand how Adam could live after he was created from the dust of the ground. I had to smile at the innocence and simplicity of children's thinking. Sometimes I forget that what is obvious to me might not be so obvious to small child.
She continued asking questions after that (as most 6-year-olds tend to do) and we talked about Cain and Abel. When I mentioned that Cain killed Abel, Abbi quickly became interested in the conversation. "Why did he kill his brother?" was her simple question. I explained to them about jealousy and had them act out a little skit of siblings being jealous with one another to help them understand the situation. The conversation continued for several more minutes. We talked about God telling Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, but then providing a sacrifice in his place.
It was at that point that I knew the Lord was working in the situation. After a really rough day earlier in the week, I really questioned if this is where God wants me right now. How could I be serving Him in a situation where He is not respected or acknowledged? How is this helping me grow in my relationship with Christ? How is this job preparing me for my future when I disagree with so much that goes on? These were a few of the questions passing through my mind as I cried out in discouragement. In the midst of my discouragement, I felt that peace which passes all understanding. I couldn't really answer all the questions, but somehow I knew it was right. Two days later, that conversation helped me understand. God put me in this situation to learn about Him, to depend on Him, and to grow closer to Him. I am in this situation to be a representative of Him to those kids who only hear His name proclaimed once or twice a year.
That few minutes of discussion really meant a lot to me. I don't know if any of it will stick in their minds or really mean anything to them, but it will definitely be ingrained in my memory for quite a while. I pray that it will stand out in my memory as a reminder to show His love and patience at all times.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
In other news, the Lord blessed us with safe travels as we took Tasha down to Mississippi. The trip was wonderful and I really enjoyed visiting with our family. Visits such as the one we just had are so precious to me, because they are few and far between. Sadly, my camera decided to bite the dust, so I don't have any pictures to share with you. However, Tasha did graciously take a few pictures of me with the three most handsome little men in my life. ;) Maybe when she returns home from her visit I will share that with you. Overall, I'm just so thankful to the Lord for His grace and mercy.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
From what I understand, each week for twelve weeks a blogger will act as a "teacher" and post about various issues concerning womanhood. The "students" are encouraged to make comments about their thoughts on the subjects and other encouraging notes related to the subject.
The "school" started this past Monday with Emma from Charming the Birds from the Trees doing a series on posture, presentation, personal grooming, etc. The tentative schedule will be as follows:
Week I: June 25-30 Personal Presentation, Part I. posture, grooming, health, clothing care, etc.
Break: July 1-7 – Independence Day in America – We’ll give our teachers and readers a semi-break. However, we might do some posts about American customs/culture during this week.
Week II: July 8-14 Bastille Day in France -- How French culture has influenced decorating, fashion, cooking, etc. How to prepare a simple French meal. Why it was considered important for finishing school students to learn about other cultures and how that can still be useful in today’s world. Simple French phrases that you might come across when reading books in English.
Week III: July 15-21: Baking: A romantic cake. Tea goodies.
Week IV: July 22-28 – the culture of Central Asia, what we can learn from Central Asian women.
Week V: July 29-August-4 Creating a lovely needlework pillow.
Week VI: August 5-11 Flowers, flowers, and more flowers!.
Week VII: August 12-18 Correspondence and Etiquette – particularly modern etiquette: email, cell phones, etc.
Week : VIII August 19-25 The best things we can learn from various cultures, customs in European countries
Week IX August 26-Sept. 1 – How to sew a pretty handkerchief (or nightgown, we're still deciding), ribbon embroidery – a woman can choose to purchase something ready-made on which to do the ribbon embroidery.
Week X: September 2-8 -- How to set a pretty table for various occasions; the correct way to set a table for a casual lunch, a buffet, a dinner, a shower, etc.-
Week XI September 9-15 Another week on personal presentation, keeping our bedrooms pretty and organized
Week XII September 16-22 Gracious Living on a Budget
I have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons this first week and I'm looking forward to the remaining 12 weeks. I hope some of the other ladies will join me in class and maybe we can discuss the lessons together. A blog is supposed to be set up just for the purpose of the Finishing School, but I don't believe it has been done yet. You can find out the teachers for each week and the links to their blogs at A Merry Rose: Blooming as Keeper of My Home. I will also try to post the link each week for those who are interested.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Crystal did a live birth diary throughout the duration of her labor and delivery. I spent most of the day yesterday refreshing my browser to keep updated on the process. Now, I realize that I have never met these people, so I really shouldn't be so involved in their life. However, I found myself so encouraged by the spirit and attitude that Crystal had throughout her pregnancy and especially in these last few weeks as so many things seemed to be going wrong. This woman maintained a positive attitude and it was clearly evident that she was completely relying on the Lord. Even when her plans for the birth of her baby were completely turned around, Crystal and her husband trusted that God had greater plans and they were fully relying on Him. To read the whole account of the birth day, you can see the post here.
As I was reading the entries yesterday and spending time in prayer for this family and for Caylub, I was reminded of this passage of Scripture: "I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore." (Psalm 86:12) It was so encouraging and refreshing to here of God's children praising Him and trusting Him in a situation that might seem so horrible to many people. I was reminded that I often fall so short of giving proper praise to my merciful and gracious Father. When things don't go my way, I often forget that the Lord is in control and He is sovereign. Isaiah tells us of the Lord: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
All glory and praise be to God for giving Crystal strength to endure the trying delivery and to bless the family with a healthy baby girl. My heart just rejoices to know that God blesses His children and provides for their every need. I do hope that you will take a few minutes to read the account of His provision for this family. I pray to God that you and I might be able to trust in the Lord so faithfully and just be able to radiate the love and joy of the Lord at all times.
Psalm 89:1 "I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I decided to start out with 2 passages of scripture for this week:
2 Timothy 1:8-9 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"
Proverbs 31:10-12 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."
I'm praying that the Lord might bless me in this goal. I believe that this will help the days go by quicker, help me during the times when I am frustrated, and be a general blessing in my life.
Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
The menu consisted of:
*Chicken black bean tortillas
*Corn with tomatoes and chilies
*Lydia's Special Guacamole with tortilla chips (It's really only special because I make it...it's not a secret recipe.)
It was a delicious meal, if I may say so myself. I did get the chicken black bean mixture and the corn a little spicy, but it's good for your digestive system, right?
Friday, May 25, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I've also been busy on a special project this week. Hopefully there will be a post about that within the next few days.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Tasha and I worked out in the garden. It's not a huge garden by any means, but we did plant some of our favorites. Here's what the garden looked like before we got started. As you can see, it was full of weeds!!!!
This is what it looked like after we were done planting. You can't tell, but the left bed has okra in it. In the middle bed we planted tomatoes and peppers, which you can see growing in the middle of the bed. Then along the sides, we planted lettuce and spinach. Then in the last bed we planted some green beans.
Tasha and I also planted some herbs....which I'm VERY excited about. You can see them here in the little pots right outside our back door (for easy access). We planted oregano, basil, cilantro (Strem, you better watch out!!!), and (we think) rosemary. This one didn't have a little card in it to identify it, but we think it's rosemary. [Can anyone help us!??!?!]
Dad worked on the flowerbeds in the backyard. First he extended the hosta bed around the patio. I didn't get a 'before' picture of this, because he was out working before I was up and movin'. When Dad got done, I added a colorful touch to the bed by planting some pansies.
Dad also worked on the berm along the fence. I think Dad is most excited about this area. It has been many, many, many years since we've been able to do landscaping like this in the backyard. While we had our big dog, Jessie, it was nearly impossible to do much with our backyard. In fact, where Dad made the berm is exactly the path that Jessie would take in her numerous trips running around the yard each day. While we miss our good watchdog, it is definitely nice to have a well-manicured lawn.
Mom was busy in the front all day. After a tiring escapade around town, we were finally able to find some decent plants at a decent price to plant in the front of the house.
Here are the two pots Mom planted at the front of the walkway. Mom also planted some flowers and set out some hummingbird food in hopes of having these fascinating birds stop by for a visit.
All in all, it was a tiring, but enjoyable day. We were all a stinky, sweaty, muddy, hungry mess by the time evening rolled around.
[By the way, Isaac is still a member of the Corn family, but he was away all day attending his girlfriend's graduation. Bryan, well, he's another story. ;) ]
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
School is out now and I am busy enjoying Spring and anticipating Summer. I've made a list of some of my favorite things about Spring:
- Taking walks on cool evenings
- Walking by houses and smelling the scent of fresh laundry coming from dryer vents
- Seeing flowers bloom (except geraniums....I'm not a big fan)
- The smell of fresh potting soil
- Knowing that Summer is right around the corner
- Anticipating the return of The Muny season
- Anxiously waiting of the plethora of summer church meetings to commence
- Sitting down to read a good book without feeling guilty about neglecting schoolwork
- Going to garage sales on Friday and Saturdays seeking great deals (Not good deals...only great deals)
- Sitting out on our newly remodeled front porch drinking a glass of iced tea (sweetened with Splenda)
- Sleeping with my bedroom windows open
- Seeing my Mom get excited about the hummingbirds visiting our feeders
- Going on bike rides through Forest Park (OK, I haven't done this yet, but I dream about it often and it's on my list of things to do quickly)
- Enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables
- Being able to wear sandals or go barefoot
- The joy of holding newborn babies
I think that's enough for now. What are some of your favorite things about Spring and Summer?
Monday, April 16, 2007
It took me several months to read through this book, partly because I took a short recess about half-way through. While I was visiting my grandparents in Mississippi, I was given Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series.
Now, this was extra special to me for several reasons. I had recently watched the film adaptation of Love's Long Journey (which is the third novel in the series). I LOVED the movie and was very interested in reading the books.
My Grandpa Lester has a tradition of watching movies with his grandchildren in the evenings. One night while picking out a movie to watch, I noticed that he had two of the movies, Love Comes Softly and Love's Enduring Promise. I was so excited! After I calmed down a bit, Grandpa told me that he owned all the books! My Grandma Kate quickly went out to the garage and dug out the books. I don't know if you can tell by the pictures, but these books are hardback! This is the real deal! Not only are they hardback books, but there are actually 2 novels in each book. Yes, that's right, my friends. There's one novel in the front, then when you are through reading that one, you flip the book over and the next novel starts from the back. It's awesome. (Ok, I realize that this isn't that great of a thing. I'm sure you have probably seen millions of books like this, but it really excited me!)
I quickly started reading the first novel and soon realized just what a special treasure I was being bequeathed. You see, when Grandpa first got this series, he would read them to Grandma every night. How sweet and romantic is that!?! As he read through the novels, he discovered that there was some unsound doctrine being promoted. Being the God-fearing man that he is, Grandpa went through the novels and made notes at each of these spots. The notes were specifically addressed to his grandchildren. He had hoped that his grandchildren would be interested in reading these novels that he and Grandma loved. He didn't want his grandchildren to fall prey to the unsound doctrines. I was thrilled to read what Grandpa had to say about the truth of God's Word. As I read, I could here his voice and my mind flashed back to the years of hearing him preach. The flood of memories was bittersweet. I enjoyed reading his thoughts, but I was overcome with some sadness about the fact that I don't get to hear his preaching as much as I would like.
So, Strem and anyone else who hasn't yet enjoyed this series, I highly recommend it!
[Disclaimer: Those who know that I am up to my ears in schoolwork may be wondering why in the world I am spending time making a blog post. The answer, my friends: I am taking a short break from writing a paper to make this post. My brain needed a break from art history. Now, back to the paper...]
Thursday, April 05, 2007
HERE ARE SOME STATISTICS TO MAKE YOU AWARE:
- Autism affects 1 to 1.5 million Americans
- 1 in every 150 births results in a child with autism
- Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability with a 10-17% annual growth
- Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it affects each child to a different degree
- There is no known single cause for autism
- Bert from Sesame Street is considered to have autistic tendencies
- Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, George Bernard Shaw, and Thomas Jefferson are all considered to have characteristics associated with autism
- Children with autism are adorable! Here's proof...
Friday, March 23, 2007
Here he is giving a short presentation about his research to a group of freshman Chemistry students. The title of his research is: "Semi-Quantitative Powder X-ray Diffraction in an Instrumental Analysis Laboratory." Got that? Maybe if you read the abstract you might understand a little better:
"Although powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) is widely used for qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis of powders is problematic due to many factors that affect line intensities. In an upper level instrumental analysis laboratory, students have successfully obtained semi-quantitative results using the MDI Jade with Easy-quant software package. Easy-quant is based on the technique of Reference-Intensity-Ratios (R-I-R) and peak profiling. In this hands-on experiment, students grind the powders to ensure adequate mixing and small particle size, pack the powders into sample holders, collect PXRD patterns on a Rigaku/MSC MiniFlex+ powder X-ray diffractometer, and analyze the data using Easy-quant. A first unknown is used as an introduction to the technique, and a second unknown challenges students to use deductive and scientific reasoning to identify the compounds and determine the weight percent of each phase. This experiment demonstrates the ease at which non-destructive methods can be used to quantify solid mixtures."
Easy as pie, right? Yeah.
Isaac is discussing his research with one of his Chemistry advisors, Dr. Shaw (who seems slightly bothered by the fact that I'm taking pictures of him).
Isaac is explaining his research to a classmate of mine, Andrew (in the blue), and a friend from Bible study, Natalie (in the pink). Meanwhile, Erica (another friend from Bible study) is anxiously waiting for her next opportunity to discuss her research with an advisor.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The spring is coming by a many signs;
The trays are up, the hedges broken down
That fenced the haystack, and the remnant shines
Like some old antique fragment weathered brown.
And where suns peep, in every sheltered place,
The little early buttercups unfold
A glittering star or two - till many trace
The edges of the blackthorn clumps in gold.
And then a little lamb bolts up behind
The hill, and wags his tail to meet the yoe;
And then another, sheltered from the wind,
Lies all his length as dead - and lets me go
Close by, and never stirs, but basking lies,
With legs stretched out as though he could not rise.
It's Time for Spring
My sweater's tight and itchy.
My snow pants are too small.
Last week I lost a mitten.
I can't find my scarf at all!
My boots have lost their tread.
And I have lost the love I had
For words like "skis" and "sled"!
But . . . my fishing rod still fits.
And . . . my baseball bat still hits.
I have a kite that wants to fly.
So . . . winter, call it quits!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Anyway, on to the real reason for this post...
Last Thursday I was having somewhat of a "rough" day. After looking back, it really wasn't that bad. I have a tendency to be slightly dramatic at times. Regardless, I had a HUGE midterm Thursday night that I was moderately worried about. So I was in the middle of having a pity party for myself when the Lord completely stepped in and took control. As I was walking across campus I spotted a dear friend whom I hadn't seen in several weeks. I got very excited and rushed right over to say 'hello.' We sat and chatted together for a good long while. It was great! We were able to catch up on things and have an encouraging conversation.
Feeling much better about the day, I still had to get some studying done. Finally, at 8:30 p.m. my group entered the room for our midterm. Praise the Lord it wasn't as bad as I feared. All the time I spent worried and in a bad mood was in vain. You think I would have figured that out by now, right? I mean, are things ever as bad as we conjure them up to be? (Php 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.") Anyway, when the midterm was over, I felt a great desire to go to Baptist Student Ministries here on campus. Since living at home, I haven't been going to the bible studies that I was involved in while living on campus. I do miss them and miss my brothers and sisters in Christ that I've met through the groups. It was great to sing praises to the God that had once again mercifully gotten me through the day. It was great to hear the Truth spoken in the same lecture hall that holds secular lessons on a daily basis. It was great to fellowship with some dear friends.
The message on Thursday night was about being an ambassador for Jesus Christ. Isn't it amazing how the Lord works sometimes? Earlier that very same week I had been meditating on the Word and thinking about how poorly I represent Christ in my daily life. I mean, I read my Bible every morning and night, I pray before meals, I don't curse when someone cuts me off on the interstate. Isn't that enough? Let me handle this answer...NO! As I was sitting in that lecture hall Thursday night, the Lord spoke to my heart and it was clear to me. I need to be representing Christ in EVERYTHING I do! That means, well, EVERYTHING!!! The way I drive my car, the music I listen to, the way I treat the cashier at Walmart, the way I talk to my classmates, the way I approach my schoolwork, the way I speak to my friends...I need to be showing the fruits of the Spirit in ALL of these things. (Mt 7:16 "Ye shall know them by their fruits.")
Apparently hearing this once wasn't enough... Fast-forward to Saturday afternoon: I'm visiting Pleasant Grove PBC in Independence, MO. In the afternoon, one of the elders preaches on the subject of....(Can you guess!?!?!)...yep, being ambassadors for Christ! Hello, Lydia, can you get this through your head!? This is for real. The Lord is serious about teaching me this lesson and making me take heed to His Word.
As ambassadors, we are serving a higher authority in a foreign country. Just as we expect the United States Ambassadors to France, England, or Japan to uphold and represent the values we treasure in our country, the Lord expects even more from us. Are we upholding and representing the values Christ treasures? Are we representing love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? I'm not going to answer for you, but I can adequately evaluate my own performance. And I know that I fall so incredibly short of this expectation. Praise God for His grace and mercy that I am so undeserving of!
I pray that with each new day I might become better at this job. I don't need to put on a badge everyday to let everyone know that I'm an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ. More importantly, I need to put on the armor of God every morning when I wake up. I don't need Mr. Bodyguard to escort me around in this foreign country. I have the greatest Bodyguard by my side, protecting me and guiding my every step.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I was driving to school this afternoon in the midst of terrible winds. I started to reflect on what seemed like a constant storm through the past few weeks. The hard winds tried with all their might to blow me off my path. The rain tried to drench me in doubt and limit my visibility. The thunder was loud, but couldn't cover the voice of God. Do you know what one of the most beautiful parts of a storm is? Seeing the rays of sun gleaming from behind ominous clouds. Praise God for the light when times seem dark and stormy. Just as when He rebuked the winds and calmed the seas, Jesus whispers "peace, be still" in the midst of our storms.
During my time of reflection, I came up with a few things I want to share with you about what I've learned in the past few weeks. I know you aren't interested in the papers I've written or the tests I've studied for, so I'll spare you that information. Instead, I'll share the more important lessons the Lord has taught me or reminded me of these past few weeks:
1) Nothing is too big for God to handle. Pretty self-explanatory, right?
2) God has incredible ways of speaking to my heart. Sermons, conversations, messages on the radio, songs, the Word...God uses them to teach lessons and make His presence known.
3) Friends are amazing. Friends who pray for you are even more amazing and such a blessing!
4) "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)
I praise God for the mercy and grace He sheds upon us each day. This week alone I have come to a greater understanding of my incredible need for Him each and every second of my life. I know for a fact that I could not have gotten through this week without the constant presence of the Lord by my side. I am humbled and so very thankful for my Merciful, Graceful, Wonderful and Precious Friend.
I'll leave you tonight with a few words from a good song...
Praise You In This Storm
By Casting Crowns
I was sure by now, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone
how can I carry on if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands
and praise the God who gives and takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth
Sorry for the long delay, folks. I've spent the last month drowned in homework, tests, papers, sewing projects, you name it. But now it's Spring Break, so the chaos is due to subside for a season. (I might be wrong on this one, but last time I checked Spring doesn't start until around March 20th!?!?! Regardless, I'm ever-so-thankful for the break!)
Thursday, February 01, 2007
1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Lamentations 3:22 "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."
Saturday, January 13, 2007
While I was reading through all the blogs, comments, articles, etc., I came across this interesting article from ABC News. The article is about a family of 10 in Tennessee who consider themselves to be part of the "Quiverfull Movement." The article and site explain the movement, so I'll let you read about it on your own. I would highly recommend you read the article and watch the video of the news story. I found it to be very encouraging. It isn't very common to hear of families who truly believe God is sovereign in all parts of their lives, especially concerning their family. It is even more uncommon to hear of these families being interviewed, and these stories being reported, on national television.
More than just their beliefs about the sovereignty of God in family planning, I was extremely encouraged to hear (in the video of the interview) the father say that he and his wife are attempting to bring their children up "in the fear and admonition of the Lord." I was shouting "Amen" as I heard him say the most he wanted for his daughters is for them to grow up to be godly women, fulfilling their biblical roles of wives and mothers. The family is just a great example of what God teaches and commands for men, women, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children. How earnestly I pray that the Lord bless me as I attempt (though feeble my attempt may be) to know and carry out my role now. Lord willing, one day I will be able to carry out the role of a wife and mother, doing so after the teachings of the Scriptures.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Currently, I am about 150 pages into it, and I am thoroughly enjoying what I'm reading and learning. Last night I was reading the chapter entitled "Trial by Fire," about a time in Moody's life when he experienced a season of trials and tribulations. At the close of the chapter, the author relates the great blessing Moody received when he was able to pass through the trials and enter the next step of his life. Here's what Dorsett wrote about such a time:
"...Moody's recent experience with the Holy Spirit set him free - free from the mania that sees every great need as a call. Time would reveal a liberated Moody. Every need could not be a call. Never again would he go off on his own to do kingdom work and ask God to support it. Instead, he would listen for the Lord's call to him personally, and then he would go forth and obey those marching orders. In the past Moody had fallen into the habit of making decisions about kingdom work, and then in prayer asking God to back these plans. As an experienced Civil War missionary he had seen enough of war to know better. Soldiers do not arise in the morning, making plans, and then call upon their commanding general to provide supplies. On the contrary, loyal troops get up, receive the orders of the day, and then go out in obedience, assuming their needs will be amply supplied to accomplish the objective." (p. 157)
As I was reading, pondering, and reflecting on Moody's experience, my thoughts turned to my own life. How often I find myself planning my day, week, or even life, then asking the Lord to bless and back my plans! What a mixed up and unfaithful way to go about life. I often fail to remember that God is in control of my life; He's the one planning my day, week, and life. I need to be praying that He would bless me with the strength and diligence to follow after His plan. And when I fail to do so, I need to be begging for His forgiveness and mercy.
I've often heard (and seen) the cute saying, "God is my co-pilot." I recently saw a twist to this statement, which was, "If God is your co-pilot, you're in the wrong seat." What a clever, but true statement. If we are going through life with the attitude that God is our co-pilot, we ought to pray for the Lord's forgiveness and hand over the wheel. Get out of your seat and humbly let God take control.
In I and II Timothy, Paul writes to followers of Christ, giving them the title of "soldier of Jesus Christ." Oh how I long and strive to be a loyal soldier: waking in prayer, asking the Lord for my orders for the day, then to follow through in obedience, praying and trusting that the Lord will supply my needs to accomplish His work.
Psalm 16:11 "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
Jeremiah 10:23 "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
1Thessalonians 3:11 "Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you."
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
The words to this hymn were penned by Francis R. Havergal (1836-1879) on February 4, 1874. The tune, "Yarbrough" was written by William Batchelder Bradbury (1816-1868).
Here's what Miss Havergal had to say concerning the inspiration for this hymn:
"Perhaps you will be interested to know the origin of the Consecration hymn 'Take my life.' I went for a little visit of five days [to Areley House]. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted, but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer 'Lord, give me all in this house!' And He just did! Before I left the house every one had got a blessing. The last night of my visit after I had retired, the governess asked me to go to the two daughters. They were crying, &c; then and there both of them trusted and rejoiced; it was nearly midnight. I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration; and these little couplets formed themselves, and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with 'Ever, ONLY, ALL for Thee!'"
While the composition that is found in the Number Eleven Old School Hymnal is slightly different than what Miss Havergal wrote, the meaning and depth remain unchanged. It's the prayer and desire of my heart that these words might come alive within my soul. Lord, I give my life to Thee, Thine forever more to be.
***Information taken from: Wholesome Words: Christian Biography Resource and The Cyber Hymnal