Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was wonderful this year! Best yet :) We actually had a large get together on both sides of my family which has never happened before.  Chris and his dad were able to join as well which made it so much more enjoyable :)  We all ate at my mom's house with her side of the family, then Chris and Lorrin and I headed over to my Grandma's house for my dad's side of the family's Thanksgiving.  They had a cute setup outside in the field which was picture perfect.  My cousins from Atlanta were there too, which was amazing because I haven't seen them in probably 7 or 8 years.  We sat around and played music and sang and had a great time.  I love my family so much - both sides of it :)  I'm so thankful for all I have.










Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rise

I’ve been on a plateau for quite some time.  I’m not in the dumps and I’m not on a mountain top - I’m just walking.  I love the Lord so dearly and I pursue him daily.  My life is lacking, because of me.  I want the Lord more and more all the time but I never give him more purely focused time  than a little while each night.  I talk to him throughout the day and I think about him constantly, I even talk about him quite a bit.  I’m just not spending the kind of time I want with him.  I’m not building the kind of relationship I want with him.  So today I’m feeling a little down because I know what I want and I haven’t gone and gotten it.  I haven’t been running.  I had a test today that I could take anytime between 8 and 4, so I woke up this morning and studied one last time and went and got it over with.  Despite the low B I made on it, I hardly have time to care.  I just want to be with the Lord.  I want to be on fire the way he designed me to be.  My mind used to flood with prophetic dreams every night; really this is the first semester they haven’t been present in a few years.  It’s not about the dreams or the actions really, it’s just about my heart and his.  I desire for them to be congruent.  I know he’s just waiting on me and I know he’s been holding my right hand this entire time.  He showed me this today:
Isaiah 32:9-20
Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.  In little more than a year you will shudder, you complacent women; for the grape harvest fails, the fruit harvest will not come.  Tremble, you women who are at ease, shudder, you complacent ones; strip, and make yourselves bare, and tie sackcloth around your waist.  Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine, for the soil of my people growing up in thorns and briers, yes, for all the joyous houses in the exultant city.  For the palace is forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks; until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.  The justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.  And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.  My people will abide in a peaceful habitation in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.  And it will hail when the forest falls down, and the city will be utterly laid low.  Happy are you who sow beside all waters, who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
The transition from low to high is incredible to me.  It’s almost hard to find where the switch is.  But isn’t it interesting that often times our lives are the same way?  At some point we are down and not sure how to get up and once we start seeking the Lord again, we suddenly realize where we are and that we’re out of where we’ve been.  “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high” -  I believe that’s where the transition is. ;)

-------
As I was thinking of a title for this post, "rise" immediately came to mind.  All of you who were at Crosspointe yesterday, it's funny isn't it - how things like this line up?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

personal insight

So I've always known that I'm really different from the majority of the world - whether it be because I never understand why other people do the things they do or because people always look at me funny like they've never encountered someone so weird.  It doesn't bother me at all, and I actually think it's pretty funny.  It's an often occasion of getting really weird looks from people whether they know me or not - really I guess there's only half a handful of people who know me well enough to understand why I do the things I do.  So if I just cut to the chase, I'm an observer. To. The. Extreme.
I'm not really a "people watcher" as some people call themselves; I don't think I care to watch people I don't know.  I sometimes just find myself feeling like a fly on the wall.  It mainly happens when there is a large group of people.  My never wanting to be the center of attention could very well play a large role in this.  I just always end up forgetting that I am actually a person in the room and I find myself listening to everything around me and watching what everyone is doing.  I've always been a really good listener, but I guess it gets out of hand sometimes. :P
So I started laughing to myself last night after I looked at the pictures we took on the timer at our get together.  I noticed that in every single picture I looked the exact same because I forgot that I was in them.  I know it's weird, but I was so caught up in everyone having fun and doing different things that I forgot I was a person.  It really shed new light for me that this could be a reason that I've always been terrible at having pictures made of me. ;) Anyway, you should look at the photos on the post from last night and see what I'm talking about.  It's rather funny, and interestingly enough, it reveals a huge part of who I am that I think most people just wonder about (that is, wonder why I'm so weird all the time).


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

pilgrims and indians

Thanksgiving get together tonight! Pot luck dinner dressed as pilgrims and indians :)



plus ham.






I made hominy cassarole - -
2 cans of white hominy, drained
8oz sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 can chopped green chili's (I didn't add these to mine, but it probably would have been better with it)
- Cook on 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

:)

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11 - Prayer


This morning I got on Yahoo to check my mail and like always, was distracted by the world updates on the home page.  The first one I noticed was about a pyramid closing for 11.11.11 due to rumors about this apparently unique day.  So I read up on that one and thought it was interesting then proceeded to find an update entitled "Detroit prayer event puts Muslims on edge".  My first thought was, 'oh great, another group making a bad name for Jesus'.  Judgmental.  So I was hooked by then and had to read what it was all about.  Even as I was reading it, I was so skeptical that I couldn't decide if it was a good or bad move on their part.  I just kept thinking of how offensive the whole article must be to outsiders (meaning people who aren't Christians).  When I told Chris about it he responded with, "yeah, it's weird - Are we supposed to be offensive? I mean, Jesus was offensive.  Do you think we're supposed to handle things the same way today as they did in Jesus' times?"  Dang, so that got me thinking even more.  I've always struggled with this exact case - are we called to be radical or are we called to reach people in our day to day life?  The answer is both, but what troubles me is, what is the extent to which it is still effective?  Should I be starting rallies and talking to every person I see about Jesus?  Many times, I see it being more effective to reach people by being their friend and letting them see your day to day relationship with people and with the Lord, how you treat people and how you handle all your situations.  So then what?  Well, I'm completely in favor of this rally and I wish I could be a part of it.  I love revival and movements of the Holy Spirit - and there's definitely both going on right now in Detroit.  Lord, hear us and work through us - use this prayer movement for your glory in the name of Jesus.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

birthdays all around

Today is my sister's birthday :) She is wonderful and I love her and I wish all of you could know how great she is.  You should visit her blog to get a peek at her beauty.


And this is the card I sent her - -

Front (notice pull strap on right)

Inside - four panels (complete with violin and horse sounds)

lovely

The Woman Who Fears the Lord - -     

    An excellent wife who can find?
        She is far more precious than jewels.
    The heart of her husband trusts in her,
        and he will have no lack of gain.
    She does him good, and not harm,
        all the days of her life.
    She seeks wool and flax,
        and works with willing hands.
    She is like the ships of the merchant;
        she brings her food from afar.
    She rises while it is yet night
        and provides food for her household
        and portions for her maidens.
    She considers a field and buys it;
        with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
    She dresses herself with strength
        and makes her arms strong.
    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.
    She opens her hand to the poor
        and reaches out her hands to the needy.
    She is not afraid of snow for her household,
        for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
    She makes bed coverings for herself;
        her clothing is fine linen and purple.
    Her husband is known in the gates
        when he sits among the elders of the land.
    She makes linen garments and sells them;
        she delivers sashes to the merchant.
    Strength and dignity are her clothing,
        and she laughs at the time to come.
    She opens her mouth with wisdom,
        and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
    She looks well to the ways of her household
        and does not eat the bread of idleness.
    Her children rise up and call her blessed;
        her husband also, and he praises her:
    “Many women have done excellently,
        but you surpass them all.”
    Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
        but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
    Give her of the fruit of her hands,
        and let her works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV)

This is my desire.  What I strive for.  Why is it so difficult to achieve?  Sometimes I think I'm doing fairly well.  It seems that every time one week out of the month comes, I am unable to be strong, to remember who sustains, holds, and guides me.  Well this morning he reminded me with this lovely passage that I somehow forget about on occasion.  It's going well right now.  He reminded me of who he made me and who I am - it's truly beautiful.  I don't know why I get so distracted by what I don't have at this time in my life.  All that truly matters is right here and now - the present.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grandmother's 92nd

Chris and I visited Jackson yesterday for his grandmother's 92nd birthday :) It was great.  Any time I get to spend with Grandmother, I love to take advantage of.  You may remember from previous posts how witty she is with her British accent and quick mind.  I love her so much.
We took a few pictures - -

 Only one of the many jokes she made was when she took a sip of champagne - she jumped and exclaimed, "This is almost as good as Scope!"

We were also given three bikes yesterday which is always exciting :)
The one I cleaned up last night is a Fugi.  We also got a Free Spirit cruiser and an off brand cruiser.  They're all in bad shape but I can't wait to see them fixed up :)
This is the Fugi - -




I have to go to class!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween

A few days late, but we had a great Halloween! :) Chris and I dressed as cowboys and indians.  We went to my good friend's house for a get together.  Fire, snacks, friends - it was wonderful.  I took a few pictures, but somehow managed to not get one of Chris and I together.  The smurfs were the cutest ones there :)  However, there was a jelly fish that was pretty awesome - I didn't get a picture of her though.


Open Book

Monday night at work there were two girls editing their videos.  We close at nine and at about 8:45 the one girl who was finished started joking to the other about how she needed to hurry because I was ready to go and "getting mad at them".  They kept putting words in my mouth like I was saying them, but really I didn't mind at all.  This went on for about fifteen minutes with me periodically saying "no no, really, I'm in no hurry, please take your time".  This really wasn't a big deal but was, however, a little disturbing, because I felt like they were making me out to be someone that I'm not.  I'm really not a short-tempered person or even a tempered person at all.  People just don't bother me.

Although this wasn't anything that bothered me more than the fifteen minutes they were talking about it, it really gave an example of how some people make others to be something they aren't - which isn't fair to that person.  I don't do things to hurt people; I don't do things to just be selfish.  I try really hard to be Jesus to people - strangers and friends.  I feel that I am periodically accused of things that I didn't do or say and then I end up having to be the one to fix it.  I'm not upset about this because I don't mind working things out when they need to be, it just hurts sometimes that some people don't see me for who I am.  I'm not the enemy.  My heart is good.  I just don't understand why some people handle things the way they do; if we all just talked it out when something was wrong then we would be much happier people.  This life isn't about being offended and hurt and mad - it's about being joyful and encouraging and helping.  I'm not by any means picking anyone out, it's just what's on my heart today.  I want to be seen for my heart.  My intentions are not the intentions the world has.  I am an open book.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Mind of Christ

Just a little bit of James to get an idea of what I'm writing about - -

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.


I've been faced lately with the world - mainly by way of television.
I hadn't realized until last night that the Lord had given me what I'd been asking for.  For so long I have been praying for a pure mind and asking for the mind of Christ to consume me.
I haven't had a television since I've been in college and I've never been one to watch videos on the internet; I also don't have any apps or social sites other than blogger, so as you may be able to imagine, it's been fairly easy to not be consumed in the world.
Lately we've been hanging out at our friend's house more, which constitutes watching more movies and youtube videos.  As it has been a blast having community, I am finding my mind beaten up and broken due to the things that have entered into it lately.  By no means is this anyone's fault but my own.
This may seem like a bad situation for me, but honestly it's a joy.  I am reminded of the goodness of the Lord in the midst of this - that when we are persistent and pursuant of him, he gives us what we need and desire to further his kingdom.  I asked for a pure mind and he has blessed me with it in many aspects.  I still struggle with assuming people are thinking certain things that may not be true and judging people unconsciously, but in many ways, I do have a pure mind; I just did not fully realize it until worldly things entered where they were not welcome.
So all this to say that I am taking joy in my trials and remaining steadfast.  I commit to not watching anything that will take away from the purity the Lord has given me.  I asked the Lord for wisdom and he gave it to me.  I asked the Lord for purity and he gave it to me.  I am a doer of the word.  The Lord keeps me unstained from the world.

I plead the blood of Jesus over my mind.