Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mishmash

The moon is full for the next few days.
"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" is my top song
It is that time of year again.

I am glad to say that (probably due to not-thinking-about-it, or complete exhaustion (my mom keeps complaining about the dark circles under my eyes), or other-more-emotionally-draining issues) I am not as depressed as I was last year.
I even smiled at the moon tonight.

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moon-dance, with the stars up above in your eyes..."
Oh, and I like that movie.

Yet, for all the pretending and rutting-out-of-mind, deep in the pit of my stomach I know how hard it will be....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Update on...

Update on the hip, and elbow, and... well, just watch out for ice, okay? I am hurting just about all over my right side. My praise is that it was not my left side. If my left leg had been the one to slide out I would probably be incapacitated still instead of bruised and aching.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Life so far: Update on the knee and hair

I have been absent again, but I had an enforced computer absence for other reasons. *grimace*

The turkey "holy-days" were grueling as far as constant movement and standing. My knee was in pretty fragile condition after them. The food was plentiful, but I found that I could not eat as much as I might have. Baking takes away my appetite. BUT, I did snack on cookies for the next 3 weeks!

Life these days is all-or-nothing. One day will be a complete drag, with nothing going on and nothing significant to do, and the next is full-throttle all day. Then comes weeks like this week, where Monday was blah, and then from Tuesday afternoon until Thursday night I had enough time to breate, but not to shower. (I curled and hair-sprayed my hair on Tue, and then had to make it do until Th. night. I couldn't brush out the spray, and I didn't have time for a shower! The curls had melted by 11pm anyway, so I was left with a "beach"shag that melted and frizzed anytime I tried to "do" something with it. Maybe this is what "afro" hair feels like?) I but on a self-made-crocheted beret on Wed, which may or may not have helped anything, and on Th, I put it in a ponytail and tired a western hat to hide the grease.
Moving on--------

My knee has also been in high demand for our weekply Square Dance sessions in preparation for the PA Farm Show competition being held Jan. 11th. For the first time in 3 years (as long as I have been with this group) and for the first time in....well....as long as anyone else can remember--there have been more guys than girls. Even some of the girls who dance (or prefer to dance) in the "boy" position (it does not really matter, as long as they use thier hands right) have had to switch over. Therefore, I have to dance all the time, every dance, whereas I had been able to sit out when not needed previously (I am a good 2 years older than most of the kids, so I come in as a "helper" when necessary). Last week I took medecine and danced without consequences (so I thought). Then, as I lay down to sleep, the medecine had had time to wear off, and my knee began to inform me of the drastic things I required of it...
Lets just say I slept fitfully that night.

This week.....I forgot to take anything. And I was a suddenly a very akward dancer. Besides being careful about what moves to make on dances that I was woefully unfamiliar with. Not only are there a whole bunch of new people (which can be good), but most of the new people are very young children who did not learn calls, or missed beginning weeks, or mixed up the calls, or forgot them since. This makes for some really messy squares. AND most of all, it makes for super slow weeks. Up until this week we had not done all the dances in a row...and this week was filled with mistakes and re-teaching easy stuff (a slide-through? OK, so I admit I was the one getting this wrong, but I had never danced slide-though boy, before!!) , and finally giving up on the break square (where everyone whi is NOT dancing this time dances to keep up on what is going on).

Today there is a big snow, which cancels the party I was supposed to be going to.
It is now scheduled for the 9th. Which speaking of boring-and-then-full-throttle...I have something going on then. And on the 10th is a final practice, and the 11th is the Farm Show....
Pass the Ibuprofen!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Monologue

It is late.
I have been up late for a couple nights now... just burning time.
Sometimes I wonder to myself why I am so careless with the only irreplaceable commodity. But then I realize that I have grown callused. In the midst of my search for life, in the day-to-day-ness of completing the tasks set before me-my calling-I have allowed depression to have some parts of my life. It can so easily numb you to things that you don't really want to have to think about right now, or to things you might want to forget.

I don't want this. I don't want to be sitting alone staring at a computer screen looking for some flash of interesting light, a message from a friend, or some random detail of fact or science.

With New Years staring me in the face, I made a vow to go back....the day that changes 2011 into 2012 I will be there. (this has nothing to do with any current trend, or the movie)
Right now that seems like a big goal....and a nearly impossible one, but I know it will be the next step. God's process of changing me has really taught me a lot about me, and about him.

Me:
I really don't like change. I also don't like where I am. I am a stubborn and ungrateful wretch. I am also a reluctant student. But when I finally see I can't wait to learn more. I have never had such a mix of joy and peace in my entire life.

I can know His will. I know it sounds presumptuous, but I am come to realize that when I need to know what to do, He shows me. It is as simple as that. Ever since NC I have been assured of His voice.

Him:
He really had things under control. (Seriously, if I did not have complete confidence that GOD is completely 100% sovereign and in control of EVERYTHING I would probably not be alive today. Without this there is no reason to live. No surety. No rest. And most of all--no peace.)

He loves me sooooooo much. I know it sounds cheesy. I know it sounds cliche. Have you ever allowed yourself to see that it is true? What is love? I still have VERY little idea. I throw the word love around a lot lately. I have decided to not use it any more unless in moments of utter seriousness and commitment. What is love? It is bleeding on that cross.

I matter. Why is this under God? Because I matter to Him. A lot of self-acceptance issues and worries really melt away when you have value to someone. His care for little things so many times has completely floored me. Almost like roses or poems, He reminds me that I matter. That He has special things for me (and only me) to accomplish for Him. Everything I have gone through is validated. It mattered. It affected me. It shaped me (yes, it cut and bruised me). It caused me to look to Him, to look for Him, to cling to Him.
“I cannot endure that the soul should fall back upon aught else but myself with joy and pleasure, so I block up all roads with thorns; I stop up all gaps with hardships, and, lest it should escape me, I strew its way with suffering.”

Hosea 2:14 "Therefore I ....will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her...."
It is late. I have been up late for a couple night now....sometimes I am learning, sometimes I am defeated by self-pity and depression. Other nights, like tonight, I know that people are praying for me. I know that there is reason in what is going on and beauty unfolding.
I can trust.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-nJ3GYw11w

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A video/piece of music that is ministering to me lately:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Isaiah 57:15

For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“ I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Expectations:

But perhaps I should call this post: Standards.

Different ages and societies have different expectations or standards that they impose upon their members. Those who care, but do not conform, live a lifetime of guilt-ridden emotion. “If only I tried harder”. “Maybe if I did this...” “I heard that someone tried this and it worked for them...”

These expectations/standards are not necessarily negative, but they give a culture its unique addition to the diversity that abounds in the world.

The problems come when this diversity is looked down upon within a society. One of the most difficult expectations that I think young women come up against in modern American society is the expectation of size. I am not even referring to the modeling or movie industry (although it is quite plausible that they have added to the stigma of being large).

Throughout my life, I have been larger than most of those who surround me. When I was 9 I began growing to about the height I am now (save two or so inches) and by 11 an older boy from the youth group was calling me a “Mighty Meaty Hotdog” after a TV commercial advertising a larger brand of said foodstuff than had every been on the market. I was a rather naive 11 year old, and I would respond by calling him “Mr. Juicy Fruit” (as in the chewing gum). In being naive, I was spared so much of what could have hurt me deeply in his words.

However, one cannot stay a child forever. I soon became conscious of my proportions as compared to those who surrounded me. I was unsure of how (or what) to change, though. The fact is that I could not change. It was healthy for me to be that size according to how my bone structure and build had been created by God. I was not overeating, and I was eating healthy, wholesome foods.

When I was 14, our family moved o America, and I gained 40lbs in two months just from the diet changes. I was suddenly even more conscious of skinny American girls with make-uped complexions and slim legs. I spent my own money to try to “fix” and “help” myself. I regulated as much as I could think of. I tried my hardest to “be beautiful”.

Then came a day I will remember for the rest of my life. My grandmother, who is similar to me in height, structure and much else was visiting when I explained to her my most recent endeavors to change myself to fit the expectations of my age. She, who had struggled similarly her whole entire life, looked me straight in the eye and said: “Stop it! Stop!!! You will never look like them!! You will never be able to be like them!”. She was weeping as she spoke. She knew what her words would do to me, and she said them out of a pure love for me, and a concern for my future life and well being.

I was not able to assimilate her wisdom, though, and for a couple years still attempted to fit into the standards set by our society. I was not unhealthy, and I did not gain more weight, but I could not loose what I had.

What kind of a society sets numbers as a precedent for beauty? BMI can be ******, and so can scales. How reasonable is it to say “...up to this number you are appealing, and no further?”

It has not been until recently that I have been able to raise my hands to God and say in full surrender: “You are to be praised for creating me how I am”. I am truly grateful for His grace in allowing me to live and use this body that He has given me for His glory. I am fully persuaded that the size I am now is His will. If it were better for me to glorify him weighing 10 or 50 pounds less: then I would not be the size that I am.

“Exercise” does not create a better person. Eating less does not create a more holy person. Weighing only 120 lbs does not make a more beautiful person. It only makes you anorexic.

My grandmother is probbably the wisest woman I know. She has had to suffer much from the expectations of society as a whole and the people who surround her who think they know better than God how large her proportions or how heavy her tread..

And to those people in my life: Go talk to God. Tell him what weight you think He should make me and see if He agrees with you. I am only His bondservant.

soli Deo gloria

Monday, October 26, 2009

Job 23:13-16

13 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change?
And whatever His soul desires, that He does.

14 For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such things are with Him.

15 Therefore I am terrified at His presence;
When I consider this, I am afraid of Him.

16 For God made my heart weak,
And the Almighty terrifies me;



*********ALL CELEBRATE FOR MY 300th POST!!!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not a Tame Lion

The C.S.Lewis quote has been echoing in my mond so often recently that it strikes me as a mantra.
Found in The Last Battle, they say: "Is it not told in all the old stories that He is not a tame lion...."

As far as I have known/been taught there are certain boxes and categories, and even those who decry these labels are called "non-conformist".

Even God has certain limits and things that are not done.

For instance: God speaking

God does not speak. It is a given in my circle. People who claim visions or extra-biblical revelation are written off as some sort of unbiblical/unscholarly imaginer.

Yet: He is not a tame lion

I myself once experienced God in a way not in order with my theological persuasions. I was at first completely unsure of how to communicate it. (I also at first completely doubted that it WAS God)
I then did not want to tell anyone lest I meet with lectures or a reputation as someone who was easily swayed by emtional teaching. I refused for some time to accept my own analysis of the place and situation.

However, the fact remained: God had spoken.

Over and over in the past year and 5 months He has affirmed to me that it was Him, and what He said has been affirmed as many times. Since Journey I have had a new clarity of insight, and I also place greater emphasis on Lewis' insight. God does not do boxes. God is so beyond the boxes of "conformity" or "non-conformity" that it isn't even logical to deal with Him on that sphere. One of the most authentic people I know "speaks" ("" is for those of you shaking your heads right now) with God.
(Also, the generic label of "speaking" is a human term which is not able to describe things not on a human realm)

Dear readers: Do not put human insight above God. Do not doubt, O you of little faith.

Friday, October 09, 2009

God Bless 1984

by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Now, those of you who know me are probably wondering why I am putting up a song like this. And dear readers (brownie points for you!!!) who remember my remake a while back are REALLY skeptical as to what is coming next.


First off, I have never felt the patriotic frenzy whipped up in me when they strike up the last verse. It reminds me of the proles in 1984...how they could be roused to patriotism whenever the moment was needed.

Second, it is not only blatantly false, but extremely manipulative of facts as well.

????

Let me explain.

1: Rights are given by GOD!!!

Yeah, you know that already. But how many of you have ever winced at this line?

"..... the men who died, who gave that right to me...."

2: Being naive about the character of politicians won't help you at all.

Ex: "the flag...stands for freedom...they can't take...away"

3:"at least I know I'm free"

If that is all you really care about (and if you call what we have currently [current = since the Great Rooseveltpression] freedom) then go live in the USSR. They were free too...to obey.

4: Being politically correct doesn't hurt either. All the politicians really need is a whole lot of bodies to make their point. If necessary, the singers of this song bind themselves to also take the bullets for the laws and treaties the politicians find expedient to their pockets. "...gladly stand up...today..."

(Note: I am sure if they looked up the meaning of "defend" {anyone hearing 1984 here again?} and stuck to it they would also protest all wars and "wars" since the American conquest of Mexico --ie. Where Andy Jackson got his Generalship)

(Note: the War of 1812 is an exception)


So....when I hear people singing or speaking of this song....I sit and muse with a bitter and amused smile on my face....it's tripleplusgood duckspeak and that is a fact

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Jouney Part I

I am posting these in backwards order so that those who are reading have only to scroll down. I think always of ease of reading and understanding for my readers. ;)

Part I—
I am sure some of you know, but for those of you who don’t, I was away from home the last two-ish weeks visiting friends across the nation and attending a “camp” type program called Journey to the Heart. I hesitate to call it a “camp” because it is far more serious and deals with deeper issues than any other summer camp program I have heard of. It’s whole purpose is to help you seek God “with all your heart, soul, and mind.” It is through IBLP (if any of you have heard of Bill Gothard, or the ATI homeschooling program).

We (all attendees) arrived Saturday around noon, and before dinner attended a staff meeting where we listened to testimonies and began our Journey. (Mr. Gothard loves testimonies) A group of VIP ladies from Romania (the head of all the public schools, and another lady who was in the upper circle) spoke shortly (through a translator) about how they had been implementing things from the Basic Seminar and how they were going to work on translating and producing Mr. Gothard’s new “Lies We Believe” booklet for use in the public schools.
Sunday we went to a church service, and then we fasted over lunch (fasting from breakfast was optional, and we were informed ahead that fasting was planned) and listened to Mr. Gothard speak about things we were going to learn, or need, or find helpful.
Sunday night we watched an episode of the Duggar family’s Discovery TV program (they are an ATI family, and 4 of their oldest girls were in one team), and listened to further testimonies.
Monday we all dressed in our green shirts (or pink or white, depending on what team you were on) and had a final meeting with all the staff. A man who was translating the Basic Seminar into Arabic (yes, and working through all the different language groups/dialects involved) gave a testimony about his life as an oil worker. He was a pretty dynamic guy. Oil worker, bible college student, etc.
We then spent about 45 minutes out in the wind (it was not only cold, but overcast and windy) while chairs and sheets were set up, and while we were arranges, re-arranged, and arranged again for a group picture. I am not with my team, because my knee could not maneuver into the highly akward kneeling/sitting/twisted position necessary to be on the front row. Three of my group were eventually moved to the back row, and two of the other green team moved to the front row.
We then piled into vans and headed out on an 8 hour excursion up past Chicago, through Wisconsin, and finally to Watersmeet, MI. The Northwoods Conference Center is a lovely piece of ground owned by IBLP, which was redeemed from a past of Indian ritual and spiritism. Also, many of the Journey retreats find that cleansing from sin and finding freedom is something Satan fights against. It later became known that one of the girls had a family history of (and she herself used to dabble in) witchcraft. I became speedily inducted into a life of extreme spiritual warfare which I had not exactly believed existed. Many girls were sick, or felt like they were about to get sick. Much of the leaders times together was praying for their teams and binding the powers of iniquity (so we were told). I was pretty scared for a while. One of the girls on my team had a dark shape visit her every night for years. She could point to a spot in her room where it stood. Once, when I was writing out questions I had and issues I was working through, I began shaking. This had happened to me previously this year, and it usually became debilitating to the extent that I could no longer write. I asked Libby if it was because of bitterness in me, or anger, or some fear, and she figured it was an attack. When I write out things it helps me be able to process them more thoroughly, and it also gets them off of the slow-burner in the back of my mind. Libby said that it must be an attack to try to keep me stewing over them, or to keep my mind busy. That really got me scared, but I prayed (out loud) that Satan be bound, and the shaking slowly stopped. I am still scared by that. It did happen again twice, but when I prayed—it would stop.
Oh, and the part about being busy in your mind: The day that happened was Thursday; The Day of Delighting in the Lord. It was a day of fasting and searching out the scriptures. There was a big emphasis on quieting of the mind and being silent. Waiting for God. Really waiting. I have been working on that on the train and since I came home. It really is an exercise!! It is absurd how many things you remember when you try to be still. Peace, my soul, be still.

Journey Part II

Part II—
My knee had not given me trouble until Thursday night. We were praying for one of our team (all of us circled around her) when one girl stood up, tripped over my foot, and fell on my knee with most of her weight. Yeah. I don’t think I screamed, but I sure felt like it. I kept it elevated and took pain medicine…and prayer. Babying it kept me in fine shape for the rest of the trip. God was good!

We worked through the material slowly. On Thursday, the material about the Day of Delight was on page 91 onward. We were then around page 32. Our leader said that (technically) we should be doing it faster, but it did not matter. Instead of flipping pages, we were really cleaning our hearts. Times of discussion about the course material would turn into times of questions, and times of confession of sin, and times of prayer for one another. One by one, we stripped off part, and then all of our various masks. ( the “Perfect ATI girl” mask, and the “Holy and Spiritual Christian” mask, and the “I Am So Strong” mask…to name a few) On Friday, the beloved visionary of our team lead us in a time of confessing the various iniquities that our families passed down to us, and other sins that we had ignored, or buried, or refused to confess. During the week, as we listened to speakers, or as we read through the course material, different areas of my “heart” would begin aching, or throbbing. It was the strangest sensation. Almost as if God was touching the sin-stained area and scrubbing away all the filth. By Friday, I had dealt with a lot of the larger issues either privately with God, or during our study of the different “bad hearts”. However, I could still feel areas that were dirty. As we confessed to one-another, we all broke out in tears. We all got on our knees (some of us on our faces) and we cried out to God for forgiveness and cleansing. We prayed “in one-accord” for about two hours. We prayed for eachother, for our families, for our nation, for others, for a sudden, painful attack of TMJ that hit our visionary sister (as we prayed the pain subsided), and our own sin-stained hearts. I have never known 10 strangers so well as I did those girls. In those hours of prayer and couple hours of confession, we became a family. We could say anything. Our deepest darkest secrets and sins. It was so freeing. We loved and were loved with forgiveness from God and eachother. I arose from there with a perfectly clean heart. It was the strangest feeling in the entire world. To be empty inside. To not feel angry or guilty or hurt. Things that have happened to me, people who have hurt me, I still remember those events, but God (in His awesome and overwhelming Grace) took away the pain. I can acknowledge the damaging things that they did to me, but those events no longer hold me captive.
Lest you should think I now am perfect, please do not presume. I did get angry at someone just the next day for not being considerate about my knee. Anger and nasty comments poured out of my mouth. Then it came to me: “…Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Here my new heart was filled with anger. I had to completely stop and ask God for forgiveness. I am still a sinner. My mind would still like to get up on the throne and tell me what is good for me. Tell me what I deserve. Tell me my rights have been trampled on. It is astounding to me to see how many times I need to re-clean out my heart. I have found though, that although I am a sinner, I now much more in tune with what is going on in my heart. I can understand why I am angry and give my expectations to God. I can stop it before it turns to bitterness. It is wonderful.

Journey Part III

Part III—
Saturday was our “sleep in” day. I was sick. I finally found the strength to get up at about 9 in the morning. I was ready, however, when the breakfast van came by, which some of us hadn’t taken showers yet, or were in the middle of one. (yikes)
I find it amazing. Almost all of us girls came with some measure of trepidation about “perfect ATI girls” or just “girls” in particular. I was not looking forward to having to explain being an MK to a bunch of “wow, I care SOOO much” homeschoolers....who would all have wonderful Gothard families and look like all-American-girl dolls.
Yet, each of us eventually let down our barriers, and we realized that we all had the same fear of eachother....and IT WASN’T TRUE!!
Good is just amazing!!
Well, Saturday we finished up a “personality test” DVD that we had begun watching during the week, and did some tests to determine “love language” and then we went to Bond Falls. Bond Falls is not as amazing as some waterfalls I have been to, but it is lovely to be sure. However, it has some nasty terrain!! My knee worked through it slowly, and by the grace of God I did not die from drinking stream water (thank you Dearest for the pain pills) or from falling/slipping/etc which was a dire possibility.
Got some lovely pictures!
That night we asked if any of the other teams had experienced the same as we did, and we were told some of the info I wrote above, and other things. We all felt very burdened for the other teams, and decided to wake up early to pray for them.

Sunday we woke up around 4:30 in the morning. Yes, 4 AM. We cleaned the gatehouse from cellar to dome (neither of which it had, but the thought counts), and prayed for the other teams, and spent some last moments in our lovely home before rushing to eat and rushing to leave. We drove back to Hinsdale, and I slept most of the time...at least that is how it felt. I honestly don’t remember...so I must have been asleep. Most of the time I was awake I was ruminating over what to share as a testimony (Mr. Gothard loves testimonies) and praying for the other teams. Our visionary sister was given a dream/vision (burden) for (a) girl or girls who had still not confessed or dealt with things. She saw them halfway between the platform (to give their testimony) and the door (to leave without changing) and it really weighed on her. We all prayed right outside the door to the Staff Meeting room, and Libby asked Mr. Gothard if we could recite I Cor which we had memorized. We had planned on being the first ones to give testimonies, but two other girls stood up almost right away and said a few short words. We arranged ourselves in verse order and gave testimonies in reverse-verse order because we got mixed up. It was interesting how we were (I think) the only group to all give testimonies. I had written out a slew of ideas and things to say, and had written out 5 pages of thoughts. I ended up sharing very little of any of that. What I did say I felt (afterwards) could have been better, or more of this-or-that, or more moving, or more about specific things that helped me....but everyone said that I said what was “me” and that it had been really good. In fact, most of the girls felt that they did not say what they had planned, or felt that their testimonies were lacking....but we all agreed that they had been very good, very helpful and right on the mark. That is when amazing visionary said “Hey, girls, remember we were praying that the Spirit would speak through us...His words and not our own? That is what happened....” We did not give or say what we had wanted/thought with our feeble intellects was the best, or most holy or most hard-hitting thing, but we were His vessels, and we spoke His words. When we all finished, and we recited our 3 verses, the line for testimonies had tripled, and four girls had come up to our visionary and said “Was it me? Because I felt you were talking to me.” She said that she did not know who it was, but that God was the one working and God had given her the burden. She prayed with each of them, and she said that once she had given her testimony, she felt the burden lifted. Not that there was no need for those 4 girls, but that it was not her burden anymore, but God’s. God had given it to her, and she had used it, and now it was up to Him again.
Testimonies continued until lunch break on Monday. Mr. Gothard said (at least a half-dozen times) that he had never heard a Journey with such powerful testimonies. Libby told us a couple times that he was being truthful about it too. She said some Journeys came and went with only a couple testimonies, or testimonies about water-tubing instead of sin-confessing. Nearly every team had two or three girls speak, and about 3 teams had most (or all?) of their girls say something.
Monday was a mixture of speakers and sessions about different things. It was definitely a trying day for me as I struggled with dashed hopes in an area, and disappointment, and my expectations of certain people (I thought they promised something, but they never fulfilled what they said) made me hold a grudge. Tuesday I was hit by such an attack that I could not move from the couch. I said some rather angry and depressing and hurt things. In fact, I was powerless until two girls finally got down beside me and prayed. Then I suddenly realized what I was doing (holding a grudge of expectations, being depressed). I was able (after they prayed) to see what was going on. I rebuked Satan for poisoning my mind, and I prayed and forgave the people for not following through, and I gave God my expectations. Afterwards I was my cheerful self again, and I was definitely scared again by what was going on. This spiritual-warfare stuff is freaky, guys!!
Tuesday right after lunch I was driven to the train station, where after a few hugs and a prayer, I boarded the Metra and headed away to Chicago. Once there, I got my tickets paid for (staying an extra day was a blessing, although an expensive one), I was able to check in my big bag, and I headed out into the Windy City to see some sights before 6pm.

As I was meandering outside Union Station, I was once again accosted (not in a bad sense) by a “black angel” as I had begun calling them. Seriously. Random black guys with a degree of ragged clothing who know directions to everywhere and are more than willing to help you. Anyway, this one was selling newspapers and I didn’t have any spare change, so we just traded information. (Note: in Chicago, people who are used to walking tend to underestimate distances) He told me that Pacific Garden Mission (home of “Unshackled” Radio programs) was about 4 blocks down from the station. I had wanted to go there/visit/have a tour, so I headed off and walked four blocks. I had to ask a lady in a store then, because I was told “you can’t miss it”. She said it was down four MORE blocks....which was more like 6 and a half. BUT ANYWAY, I got there and a very active and cheerful lady (I believe the only white lady in the entire building) gave me a personal and interesting tour. She loved the fact that I used to listen to “Unshackled” in the Philippines, and even walked me to the bus stop two and a half blocks away. Then, a very trendily dressed white lady helped me get directions to Chicago and LaSalle street by the subway, and I then (with directions from another black angel) headed down about 4 blocks to Moody Bible Institute Campus, where I spent about an hour with a friend. Yes, my knee was not very happy, but I was able to sit down for a part of that time. Interesting thing, though, was that my shoulder actually hurt a LOT more than my knee. Lugging around books and all the extra weight over 50lbs from your big suitcase is NOT something I would suggest to any compadres on a walking tour.

SO, I got back to Union Station right around 6pm when the sun was setting, and I wandered around the food court for some time trying to find a cheap, yet tasteful sustenance besides the water and chips that I had stashed in my bag. The Pitts station sure doesn’t have any available food, and I would need something before my 19 hour trip was over. I finally picked up some bread sticks from the little Pizza Hut, and boarded the train just as it was announced for boarding. While the train from Pitts to Chicago was mostly empty, the train from Chicago to Pitts (to Washington DC, actually) was reserved seating only. I had a seatmate, but I was so tired that I fell asleep almost right away. It was a little less cold with a packed train, and I had on extra layers, but sleeping in a small seat is always uncomfortable. My neck was all cramped up when we got to Pitts at 5 in the morning. I then wrote in my Journey Journal until 7am when the train to Harrisburg came ready. I was able to get a row of seats, but my things also cramped me...and I slept there again (Note: Dear readers—never set good intentions when you travel). I woke up about 30 minutes away and my shoulder finally stopped being numb from carrying my huge bag and sleeping in a twisted up position....ouch.
It was good to get pushed and pulled in every direction my silly siblings when I got out to the car, and to hear their chatter and find out about all the new scrapes and bumps and bruises they had received since I was gone. I had intended to sleep and unpack, but as life in this family would go—my grandparents on my mothers side were driving up from Virginia the next day and food and a room had to be prepared for them...as well as all the chores that had fallen by the wayside when I was not there to do them....
That night I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning trying to figure out whether I wanted to be involved in a drama camp in the area, and figuring out details to a TeenPact alumni event.
Thursday we all went out (missing the first Square Dance Practice of the season) to audition, chess class and a Constitution Class. We got home about 10 minutes before the Grandparents walked in the door. I was then up until about 12:30 typing out the beginnings of this whole thingymabobber.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trip

So, I left PA around two in the afternoon. The train to Pittsburg was FREEZING COLD. I worked on a project and tried to avoid the urge to pull out a heavy sweater from my bag (and thus rearrange the entire thing.....).

I then spent 4 hours in a Pitts. train station (It was supposed to be 3, but the train was an hour late... hoorah) trying to stay awake. I read some, listened to Philippians in Cebuano, and ate a lot of my snacks.

Around 1 am I finally got settled in the train and tried to sleep. Once again, it was cold. It was much warmer than the first train, but it was NOT warm enough to sleep. I finally went down (yes, it was a nice double-decker train!!) to the bottom of the train and pulled out my blanket. It took a while to get warm enough, but I finally found a comfortable position, and fell asleep.
I woke up around 8 am (7 am then.... I love crossing time zones!), and saw the flat, very brown plains of Indiana crawling by. Quite literally, we were not going much faster than 60 mph....

Around 10...errr I mean....9 we arrived in Chicago. I then realized that I had completely forgotten the name of the road I needed to walk down to reach the Metra Station. I tried calling for help, but somehow my need got misinterpreted, and the noise made it more than hard to understand everything. I finally found a map and headed out into the street. However, the road around Sears (now Willis) Tower was closed, so I headed out and around it....ho-rah again....

I rested for a time when I got half-way, and then pushed. My knee did hurt. My hand hurt more, though from pulling my big huge bag! I got to the station, and my friend picked me up and I am now spending two days with her! I think that I would hate college...and probably dorm life in its entirety. I don't really mind it right now, but I think living for some time like this would drive me insane. lol Random observation of the day.

On the bright side (watch for the pun) I got to sit for about an hour out in the bright sunshine....which was wonderful. Being warm all over....after freezing on trains and having a 20 degree drop in temperature from the summer highs.
Oh, and thanks to the random college guy who walked by who was talking to his friend. He says that it will not get above 80 degrees anymore this year.... Can I die already?)

Tomorrow I head north to catch a dear family for about 24 hours before I head to Hinsdale for Journey to the heart. Later this afternoon---Photoshoot!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update

My knee was improving.
I hardly ever felt it.
I could climb up and down chairs, lift, carry, and stand for longer and longer periods of time.

THEN

One night, around 4 in the morning, I woke (for only the second time in my life, I think, and both since that knee injury) with severe cramps in my left calf. It didn't last long, but it felt like forever. the next two days I limped around (and drove the car up and down the Eastern Continental Divide) and hoped that it would subside.

It did....somewhat....and then got progressively worse and worse.

I confess that I cannot really remember how much it hurt me when I was first injured. As I can remember, I rated it below my Staff Infections and above...well...moving on!

So, based on that forgetfulness, I am trying to discern whether it is not hurting/impairing my abilities more than it did originally. I will feel a "tingle" when it is about to really hurt, and right about then the wisest thing to do is sit down. I found out yesterday (last night) (previous to this I had always sat down soon) that ignoring that has serious consequences.
I was "Squeezo Straining" our latest batch of Roma tomatoes, when I felt that tingle. Now, it is not easily seen through the link, but the Squeezo clamps onto the side of a table, and you turn the crank-handle to squish the pulp and juice out of the tomato and the large screw pulls the skins and seeds out the other end. Standing is necessary. Standing is incumbent upon being able to push/turn this thing. Also, I didn't want to stop and do this at a later. It was late, I was tried....I wanted to finish this thing.

So, I stayed standing, and kept on squeezo-ing these tomatoes.

In time, the tingling turns to pain, and the pain shoots up and down my leg, and then my whole calf muscle starts cramping. I try to ignore this. I can handle pain. I shifted all my weight onto my right leg (which overcompensating in the past has made my right leg hurt almost as bad as my left.
It doesn't stop. I finally have to take a break and sit down, doubled over, trying to massage my calf/knee trying to make it stop hurting. When it did, I stood back up and finished....only, this whole cramping thing happened again.

My leg was really mad at me all of last night. I had it elevated, and I stayed up late hoping that it would subside enough (I hate trying to fall asleep with my knee elevated!!!) so that I could sleep. I finally got in bed around 2:30 in the morning, and the little tingle pains played tag all up and down my leg until I fell asleep.

I am wondering: What DID I do to my leg!! I went to see a doctor, who basically told me that it could not be an ACL tear...even though I heard a "pop", because I was not incapacitated... and that only an X-ray could really tell what I HAD done.

I am leaving to spend about 2 weeks in Chicago, visiting friends and going to a camp/seminar, in less than a week. That necessitates carrying my bags, hopping on and off trains, and walking around a good deal.
I really don't have time to get a doctor's appointment in....should I push for it? What could it tell me that would help me? Could they solve it in any way other than "take this pill" or "stay off your feet"?
Should I go and hope that pain medication can get me through (which is what doctors might prescribe)? Should I go, but cut back on anything that is not essential?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Complete Opposite

I would really like to know why young (particularly unmarried) females always get told that their worst nightmare will surely happen to them?

I am sure you know what I mean.

I have often noted (out loud) things that I dislike and/or abhor in people or things.

Without fail (try it sometime!!!) some person in my family or surrounding will point out to me (in the most serious tone of voice) how I should not say/think such things.

Why?

Because (so they say) "Just watch! You are going to marry someone who is a _______ or who does ______ (that thing which you abhor or dislike)
Yes, dear friends: I am most definitely doomed to marry a math-loving, semi-truck-driving, chemistry-and-physics whiz husband.

I am sorry, but I have forgotten the other sure traits that I have been bound to.

Anyone with the said qualifications, please feel free to call me!

Seriously, now! Why is it that when a person dislikes or does not appreciate certain things, she is told that she must marry/be eternally bound to that exact thing? Would it not make more sense for her to choose someone who would not annoy/scare her? (yes, semi-trucks are scary!!! VERY scary!!!!)

While I do have a list of "Things-I-Want-In-A-Future-Husband", they do NOT include math, semi-trucks, or the deeper realms of physics, chemistry, or complicated formulas and x-y-m equations. If you would like to marry me and have an overwhelming love for those areas.....well.....I can't promise anything, but I would like to warn you in the beginning you have a handicap to overcome!

Yard Sale thoughts

Over Labor Day weekend, we had a yard sale, trying to rid ourselves of excess clothing and other items, and I assisted in tending to the customers.

One such lady was asking questions and pawing through piles of books and toys, when she turned to me and said:
"Are you a christian girl?"
Hesitant to accept an oftentimes questionable label, and not wanting to ask her her definition, I asked her to repeat it, hoping to acertain her meaning from her tone.
"Are you a Christian girl?" She said again, with a tone like one would use when asking about an "American Girl" doll.
"Yeees...." I said slowly, then smiled brightly, hoping I hadn't just done something rather stupid.
"I could tell" she blurted out quickly
"Huh?" (she did talk in short fast bursts....)
"I knew you were. Your face"
"My face?"
"Your countenance"
(I knew then she had at least SOME Biblical knowledge)
"Oh........thank you......"

At this point in time she began telling me about her family, and the dreadful state of affairs she found to be her lot in life. Her son had gotten 3 young ladies with child (so far-- she added. Me: !!!!!!!!!!!) and her daugter (saved at two and went to Sunday School all her life) was now a drug addict/agnostic/complete rebel and more (somewhat similar) tales about the rest of her family.

I listened and nodded, and tried to explain "What kind of a church you go to", and symathetically agreed with her bemoaning of the local church bodies and thier failure to teach/keep converts.

A young lady I know just told me today that when people dish out thier troubles to yourn people they are usually wishing that thier children were like the young people. I found that somewhat amusing and sad.
I still fail to understand these pale-faces.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Today

The title is actually misleading. because it was today, 5 years ago, that I am thinking of.

5 years ago, I took one last look at everything I had ever called "home."
5 years ago, I left everything I loved that did not fit in my allotted portion of the 70lb boxes we could take on the airplane.
5 years ago, I gave my cats one last hug, and never saw them again.
5 years ago, I turned away, and stepped into the waiting van.
5 years ago, I stepped into an airplane.
5 years ago, that airplane lifted me high up and 11 thousand miles away from all of that.
5 years ago, I lost my heart somewhere in that green-and-white-and-blue ocean and island.
5 years ago, I buried it deep, where no one could find it. Maybe it is not dead, though. Maybe someone found it and kept it safe for me.
5 years ago, I wanted to die.
5 years ago, today, was the hardest day of my life.

Are these wounds healed? Have I found a new life and meaning here in this country? Has God been working in me?
To answer the last question: Yes
To answer the first question: No, otherwise I would not be weeping my heart out as I type.
As for the middle question: I don't know. I have tried to understand and reach out and be acceptable. I still feel like an outsider, a loner, and a foreigner. I have formed some deep friendships. But my roots are still volatile. In shock. Fearful. Distrusting.

Life is never easy. But today, as it was 5 years ago, life is intolerable.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Free-card

It is here, folks!!!!

FREEDOM!!!! Freedom from having to pay that is!!!
Get this card and your life will be over! (at least, your life as a debtor!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trust His Perfectness


Interesting way of wording the sentiment. I had never heard this before, yet it keeps playing over in my head.....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Overcomers

"...Every circumstance in life, no matter how crooked and distorted and ugly it appears to be, if it is reacted to in love and forgiveness and obedience to your will can be transformed.
" Therefore I began to think, my Lord, you purposely allow us to be brought into contact with the bad and evil things that you want changed. Perhaps that is the very reason why we are here in this world, where sin and sorrow and suffering and evil abound, so that we may let you teach us so to react to them, that out of them we can create lovely qualities that live forever. That is the only really satisfactory way of dealing with evil, not simply binding it so that it cannot work harm, but whenever possible overcoming it with good."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ready to seek his help

Then Peace said quietly, "I have noticed that when people are brought into sorrow and suffering, or loss, or humiliation, or grief, or into some place of great need, they... become ready to know the Shepherd and to seek his help...."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bearing-the-Cost

Just then, she looked up at the cliffs above her head and [saw]. In a tiny crevice of the rock, where a few drops from the trickling waterfall could occasionally sprinkle it, was a single plant. It had just two or three leaves, and one fragile stem, almost hairlike in its slenderness, grew out at right angles to the wall. On the stem was one flower, blood red in color, which glowed like a lamp or flame of fire in the early rays of the sun.

Much-Afraid stared at it for some moments, noticing the wall which completely imprisoned it, the miniature aperture through which it had forced its way to the light, and the barren loneliness of its surroundings. Its roots were clamped around by sheer rock, its leaves scarcely able to press outside the prison house, yet it had insisted upon bursting into bloom, and was holding its little face open to the sun and burning like a flame of joy. As she looked up at it Much-Afraid asked..."What is your name, little flower, for indeed I never saw another like you."

At that moment the sun touched the blood-red petals so that they shone more vividly than ever, and a little whisper rustled from the leaves.
"My name is 'Bearing-the-Cost,' but some call me 'Forgiveness.'"
She gazed at the little flower and said..."Why do they call you that?"
Once more, a little whispering laugh passed through the leaves and she thought she heard them say, "I was separated from all my companions, exiled from home, carried here and imprisoned in this rock. It was not my choice, but the work of others who, when they had dropped me here, went away and left me to bear the results of what they had done.
"I have borne and have not fainted; I have not ceased to love; and Love helped me push through the crack in the rock until I could look right out onto my Love the sun himself. See now! There is nothing whatever between my Love and my heart, nothing around to distract me from him. He shines upon me and makes me to rejoice, and has atoned to me for all that was taken from me and done against me. There is no flower in all the world more blessed or more satisfied than I, for I look up to him as a weaned child and say, 'Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire but thee.'"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

But Love Hurts

The next few posts will be focusing on one of my all-time favorite books: Hinds Feet on High Places -- by Hannah Hurnard. I have always loved her impromptu poems and how she can really analogize a situation to make it stick.....and of course, she was a missionary!

Anyway, from the first chapter in the book:
Much-Afraid shrank back. "I am afraid," she said. "I have been told that if you really love someone you give that loved one the power to hurt and pain you in a way nothing else can."
"That is true," agreed the Shepherd. "To love does mean to put yourself into the power of the loved one and to become very vulnerable to pain... But it is so happy to love. It is happy to love even if you are not loved in return. There is pain too, certainly, but Love does not think that very significant."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Deer

1.24.09

Dry, parched, exhausted
RUN
the hunters are everywhere
FLY! JUMP! RUN!
Fighting through the brambles
That catch and tear
OUCH!
Vines and weeds
Grab and hold
Cutting and tripping
RUN!
FLY!
JUMP!
RUN!
Aching
Bleeding
Bruised
Wounded
Alone
throat raw and dry
Parched lips that crack and bleed
Exhausted
Alone
In the cleft of the rock
Alone
In the shade of the trees
WATER!!!
Cool, flowing smooth and swift,
Drink deep, drink your fill
Quench your thirst.
As the deer pants for water
So my soul thirsts
How long shall I wait?
Crying night and day....
They laugh, they mock
And I cry out in agony
I sing Your praise
But my soul sighs within me.
God is my hope and refuge
At night His song is sung
The waves and waterfalls
Send the song along.
His lovingkindness all the day
My Rock, when I mourn
Yet, I will praise Him
When my soul is disquieted and forlorn.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

An Example in Prudence:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the...bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.....

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends....

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Defend the Schools!!!

Interesting thoughts from Dr. Voddie Baucham

As many as eighty-five to ninety percent of professing Christians send their children to the government for their education. That is simply an astonishing figure considering the fact that the Christian community fought mandatory government education tooth-and-nail for it’s first fifty years of existence. Since then we have gone from fighting against government schools to fighting for them and implying that those who fight against them are fundamentalists, anti-intellectuals, and racists.

He then links to this post from ethicsdaily.com which ends by saying:


We believe public schools advance the common good and deserve the intense support of people of faith. We think the demonizing of public school employees is morally wrong. We contend that hate speech against public education bears false witness.....

Rather than retreat from public education, goodwill Baptists must be known as the ones who speak up for public schools and refuse to give up on one of our nation's most important institutions.

Leading us all along the way...

Here We Are--Don Moen
***The first ten seconds of the video are messed up... it then repeats.

Here we are lifting our hands to You.
Here we are giving You thanks for all You do;
As we praise and worship Your holy name
You are here dwelling within our praise.

For every answered prayer,
For always being there,
For love that hears us when we call,
For arms that lift us when we fall,
You have always been right beside us
Leading us all along the way;
We made it through
Because of You...

Here we are lifting our hands to You.
Here we are giving You thanks for all You do;
As we praise and worship Your holy name
You are here dwelling within our praise.


For days we cannot see,

For all that's yet to be,
The trials we may have to face
When we'll be leaning on Your grace;
It will be Your strength that saves us
Your love that makes us strong;
And through it all
We'll sing this song...

Here we are lifting our hands to You.
Here we are giving You thanks for all You do;
As we praise and worship Your holy name
You are here dwelling within our praise.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Switch Gears:

Having received word that my blog is "depressing" I shall endeavor to post something that often helps me out of my "depression".

I had heard this song before from the VCD it was originally on. Then, to my utmost heartbeak, the VCD malfunctioned, and now is merely a relic. I had wanted to hear it again....and then I found it on youtube!!!

Blessed Are You-- Paul Wilbur

Blessed are You O Lord our God,
Eternity's holy King;
Blessed are You O Lord our God,
Whose Word brings on the evening.

Bar'chu et Adonai ham'vorach l'olam vaed
Bar'chu et Adonai ham'vorach l'olam vaed

By wisdom O Lord
Heaven's gates open up
With understanding You order the seasons;
Creating day and night
Turning darkness into light
Arranging the stars to Your pleasing.

O blessed be the King
To the Holy One we sing
Lord of Hosts is Your name;
O everliving God rule over us
Now and forever the same.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pieces

Having grown up in a culture other than the one my parents grew up in, I have a mixture of the two that is the definition of me.
It has been almost 5 years (4 Years 10 months 10 days, and I've lost count of the hours now...) since I left the culture that I grew up in. I have used the language only slightly since then. I keep some parts of it up in songs, thoughts, dreams, and occasional reading of letters that people had/have since then given me. I have felt the steady decline of less-used words. Things don't come as easily, and I sometimes stayed for hours, trying to translate "simple" words that I had completely lost the meanings of. Then, there are the times where random words fly at me, and I instinctively "know" what they mean...and then I begin to question myself. I roll the words around on my tongue, finger the meaning, and try to remember if I was really sure as to its meaning.
Opening my Cebuano Bible is a rare occasion. Every time I do I am confronted with words which I never really understood. I am still somewhat ashamed of how I stuck with the slang, but not that the old words were used that much either. Englisera and mishmash had taken the place of a lot of "functional words". Religious terms thought up/applied by the original Bible/song translators have little normal use in the first place. Almost like a ghetto child would hardly be able to comprehend the meaning of an KJV passage.
Last night, I was suddenly struck with a mental image that I knew I needed to turn into a poem. The problem is, that the image was in Cebuano (don't ask me how, it was), and I could not get the words out of my head. I "knew" but I could not form it into a cohesive word package.

It was then I realised that I was TRANSLATING. I was taking english expressions, phrases, the turn of the words....I was trying to fit them into this Cebuano picture. I could not help but burst into tears. It was like I had lost a peice of myself. I could no longer meld into my other half, the side of me that was brown, with brown eyes and black hair, the side that gets goose-bumps (it had happened) when the temperature is below 65, and others are working up a sweat. Next thing that will happen is that I will forget how to swim!!!!!!!!!!!

Then as I cried, a little voice started coming through. I wrote out the most lovely poem I have ever written. It was a heart-poem in my heart-language (one of them, at least). It came for someone who was struggling. It came from someone who was struggling.

Our struggles make us. Our struggles break us. Our struggles force us to take the little million peices to the foot of God's throne. Our struggles make us say: "Here, You take them, because I am at the end of my rope."
Life is a struggle.

I am in little peices.
Oh, and just an FYI: The poem is not available to read. I often find that putting poems up is a very open/vulnerable thing. When I am dead and my older sister publishes all the bad ones in a posthumous volume, you can look for it and remember.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Phil 1:6

being confident...that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Psalm 68

18 You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the LORD God might dwell there.

19 Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation!
Selah
20 Our God is the God of salvation;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.


28 Summon your power, O God;
show us your strength, O God, as you have done before.


32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33 To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.

Blessed be God!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hosea 2:14

"Therefore I ....will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her...."

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

B-Day meditations

I am now 19, dear blog-readers.

Yes, THE age. What is so important? I don't really know. But for some reason, my young mind always saw 19 as THE age.
I would surely be perfect by 19. (rotfl!)
I would be married, or getting married soon. (hey, little girls have all this planned out right?)
I would be jaw-dropping beautiful (it doesn't hurt to wish?)
and most purely loving. (well....even little girls exaggerate sometimes)




Now, I am 19.

Well...... you can see for yourself!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Open-ness

OK, so I said I would post about sunglasses.

Well, I was engaged wholly as a salesperson for 10 days. I knew our products, I had seen many of them, remembered others, memorized prices, etc, etc. I would judge people when they began to approach our tent whether the cry of "kamot!" "Nathan! kamot!" "Rea, kamot!" would ring out (it means hands or, more liberally "watch their hands!") or whether we would get up, and help the customer with a description of all the items they were likely to be interested in. Nothing perturbed me more than to have uppity people come in and stalk around the tent in sunglasses. Sunglasses, while they may have a purpose for helping one's eyes, are a barrier.

Luke 11:34-35
The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

They cover the person's eyes (and in some cases most of their entire head) and you cannot tell if the person is utterly annoyed with you even saying hello/helping them/talking about 15 different types of firecrackers, or if they are completely at a loss to know what they are looking at and need help to find what they thought they wanted.

Most of the older generation would walk up and take their sunglasses OFF (or shove them up to the top of their head) when they entered/or were about to enter the tent. The rest of the people with sunglasses (and how can you see the lovely colors or notice details of interest and intrigue when your wold is a grey-blue?) would usually walk around in a very testy/bored way, and walk out.

I have had glasses for what seems to be most of my life now... I had never had the opportunity to wear sunglasses, because they are not (or were not?) made to fit over glasses, and the ones that are made for your glasses are/were rather expensive. Most of my family does not wear sunglasses. In fact, not many people I know do. So, this week was interesting in that I was unable to communicate well/much at all with people whose eyes/face/physiognomy was hidden from me. (I believe I first learnt that word from Jane Eyre...and I just googled it's spelling, so I know it is correct, although it's definition is most interesting....and I am highly pleased with my depth of language.....*pride moment*....ok.....I'm over it now)

So, when you want to talk to me....and when you want to be open with someone--don't wear sunglasses.
And if you want to really get to know someone....have them take off thier sunglasses.

But--the real test of knowing someone is when they can wear sunglasses and you know exactly what they are thinking....ie...I said some of this to my sister and she was wearing her new sunglasses, and she said "Well, what about me?" And I said, "1) I already know you. 2) We say the same thing at the same time, so I know a lot of how.what you think. 3) I can tell from your body language, and I don't entirely need your eyes."
Although...there have been times where even the sunglasses make it hard to tell her moods....

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Culture Trend

I have been completely socialized these past 10 days. I have seen/been around/talked with more people in this space of time than in moat of the past year. I noticed two very overwhelming cultural trends/fads (I think trend is a better word, because fad indicates that it is a passing freak of style or popular, whereas trend tends to imply a deeper root cause/reason for the outburst of whatever may be currently popular).

First, is a culture of death. We all know the stereotypes of Emo, Goth, etc, etc. It goes beyond black hair/chains and makeup. I would like to know one thing I have not seen decorated or in a motif without a skull (or skulls) or skull-and-crossbones, or some type of visual representation of death. Tattoos, clothing, chains, jewelry, fingernails, bandannas, sunglasses....even underwear! (Hey, when they don't know what a belt is for, I can't really help but see...not that I had a choice or that is was in any way shape or form at all anywhere near possibly tolerable -- yes, that is a lot of adjectives and adverbs). It has been so trivialised, that it is included in everything. There are even little pink skulls decorating children's T-shirts.
I remember when my grandparents bought a pair of little boys swim shorts for my younger brother. They were typical tie-died blue Hawaii board shorts, decorated with hibiscus flowers (yes, for boys!). When it was given to him, mother grabbed it up and looked at it closely. Something very hard to see at first, but the pistil of the hibiscus, instead of being little dots of pollen, was a miniature skull!!! I remember being quite horrified that something so ugly would decorate any article of clothing, much less pollute a flower....or be substituted for one!!
However, it is now SO commonplace, that even classy, or "upper-middle-class" people think nothing of donning this insignia and it has even become a "fad". The best way to pollute the meaning of anything is to make it popular. Even well-to-do people who came in with $100 bills in their pockets wore them.
We are now surrounded by a culture of death. Life is so meaningless, so useless, so purposeless.... Satan is more than glad to dominate Hell and Earth and bring more people to end their lives by desensitization to such gross paraphernalia, and then embracing it.

Second, is a culture of fake. Everything is made in China. Use it once and you have to buy another. Fake nails (it took them 3 times as long to pick up change...not to mention fake nails are just SO pitiful...because there is no way anyone other than a blind person could not see that they are FAKE!!!), fake hair (this applies to the dyed and the add-ins and the dreads), fake body (fake plastic even? Agh! Don't ask!), fake tan (orange anyone?), fake height (heels or a slump), fake smile (as in...this is a situation wherein I must look like I am amused), fake suave (bling and slicked hair), fake posture/presentation (sunglasses : see other post for a note on those).....even some people have a fake gender!!!!!! (I will probably remember those two very STRANGE "women" for a very long time... *nightmares*)
Makeup masks the true self into what you see painted on a billboard. You change yous height and hair to attract fake love. You talk cool and swagger and show your underpants to attract fake honor..... It is a cruel downward spiral. Yet, it all means nothing.

It overwhelmed me. Completely shocked me and made-me-take-astep-back-and-try-to-understand.

The people of York City need life
They need something real.

Am I here to show it to them?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Gentleman in a Rebel (Part 2)

This was not originally intended to be a two-part, but now it is....

So...I was walking into Rutters to get a refill on my drink. As I got within 5 feet of the doors I see a young man about to (or at least he gave all appearance of walking towards the the doors) exit. Instead of reaching to door, and opening it to leave, he halted momentarily, and began perusing a shelf of cookies.

I reached the door, opened it, and as I was crossing the threshold, he suddenly lost interest in the toothsome display and exited before the door shut.

It suddenly struck me: He stopped and appeared occupied so as not to have to open the door for me. It was most shocking and intriguing. It was very politically correct and it was perfectly unintentional-looking. I decided to blog about it.....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gentlemen in the Rebel?

As some of you might know, I am currently having great fun manning a Fireworks Tent in york for my family. I love it. I am a workoholic. I don't know why I am here instead of there....

Anyway, yesterday, I was leaving the tent for a quick break in the rutters Gas station, whose parking lot we are using. As I got closer, a young man walked across the street perpendicular to the tent, and also headed for the door.

This young man was one of your more outrageous stylers. He was putting ON a T-shirt as he walked, because such things are necessary for entering a Rutters. His head was mostly bald except for an over-grown mohawk which began at his forehead and ended at the nape of his neck. (Overgrown meaning the hair was about 4 inches long...haven't seen that before!) He had an assortment of rings, peircings, and chains and his clothing was of the holier kind. (as in hole, not whole!) As we continued apace, it became apparent that he would reach the door before me. I mused as to what would come.

Sonce when do guys dare open doors for girls? Rarely! Most men don't risk it. He definitely doesn't look like the type of person who would. hmmmmm.....

Anyhow, as I approached the door, he swing it open for himself, and then held the handle gingerly, allowing me to grab it before he let it go. I thanked him (as I do for all men who do so for me) or rather, I thanked his back, as he was walking towards the deli, and proceeded to carry out my business thinking: "This will make an interesting Blog Post!!!!"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1984 by George Orwell

Wednesday and Thursday were spent largely reading through this book. I heard about it before, but it never stood out from the pile of titles that were "important" in some way or another....

UNTIL: I read this article.

Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc


I decided to order it from the library catalogue. I find it entirely intriguing. I would love to copy-paste the entire book (well, make that a lot of the book, not all of it...*hem*) and force you all to read it. It is definitely something you have to stretch your mind to take in.

What is your personal property? How does language define civilization? What would life be like if everything you ever did/said was watched/recorded? Does anyone one else have the ability to get inside your head? Can you doublethink?

I am still reeling from all of it.

The only thing is, in the book there is no religion. Religion is not a word. It means nothing to them. However, at the end of the book, these words came to me: And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:28)
Even if such tortures and methods and "deepest fears" were used against me, there is One more powerful than man.

Even so, on this earth:
2 + 2 = 5
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

What significance do things hold when they no longer mean anything?
Do yourself a favor, read 1984.

Doubleplusgood duckspeak
, I say!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Introducing!!!!!

*drum roll, please!!!!*

The introduction of:

Glimpses of Eternity Photography





Visit it here

Overwhelmed

05/30/2009

Overwhelmed

Waves of memories
Come sweeping over me
The town, the shops
The street--
The sound of motorcars
Whizzing by
The smell of dusty,
Traveling feet.


Waving rice stalks whisper
Of the coming rain
The rains reminisce
With the smell of the wind
The cool essence surrounds
The murmur of the sea
Crashing, roaring thunder--
The grating of the sand


Overwhelmed by their power
I, powerless, obey
The rip-tide of their fervor
Sweeps me off my feet
Those waves toss and swallow me
Enfold me in their arms
I, helplessly--joyfully,
Am carried far into the deep.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Old thoughts

A poem I wrote a while ago that I found when transferring my "scraps of paper poems" onto a more available source.


09.28. 2008


Philippians 3:10- end


My goal is the prize

Of the upward call

Onward! Upward!

Ever skyward!

My goal is the prize

Of the upward call.


My goal is the prize

Of the upward call

My ever present aim

His image and mine the same!

My goal is the prize

Of the upward call.


My goal is the prize

Of the upward call.

Forgetting things which are behind

Reaching forward, I hope to find

My goal, the prize

Of the upward call.


My goal is the prize

Of the upward call

The power of His rising—

The fellowship of His suffering—

My goal is the prize

Of the upward call.


I was going to add more to it, but my inspiration ran out that night, and I haven't been able to find the right words.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Time

Time passes

Life goes on

The sun rises and sets and rises again.

I have been a little sick, and there has been a near-constant deluge. I have entertained myself grandly on classic (or not-so-classic, but old) books.
This has left me in a strange mood wherein I speak with such astounding vocabulary and grammar as to both astound and stupefy some of my hearers. I have delicious words and phrases floating around my head, like "killing airs" and "equanimity" and "sentiment" and "propriety".

For instance

A thought on satire from Jonathan Swift:
"....a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own, which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it."

And I shall leave you with a thought from W. M. Thackeray speaking of "...the moral world that has, perhaps, no particular objection to vice, but an insuperable repugnance to hearing vice called by its proper name."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Press On

When the mountain is steep
When the valley is deep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred
When we've spent our resource
When we've given our all

In Jesus name we press on
In Jesus name we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on

Rather simple.....
One of those "when all else has failed" songs...at least, that is how it strikes me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Struggle: Matinumanon Ka

At the risk of some verbal negativity, I shall quote a quote I have been thinking about lately from the Irrepressible Wesley of the Princess Bride fame:

"Life IS pain..... anyone who tells you differently is selling something."

Now, while I have been mulling over this statement, I am wont to change it to something more applicable. "Life is struggle". (I have often wondered how such an awkward sound came about to form that word.) What part of life is not a struggle?

The last breaths of an aged man, the newborn pushing and straining to leave its cocoon and enter the world, the young child learning to walk, older children growing tall into their adult bodies.... what of life is not struggle?

In this vein, I have also been singing various Selah songs to myself. (Note: Selah being the music group, and "their" songs being the songs they sing/cover/etc. in thier albums)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

and

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

My first memory of this song was at a wedding. I was tickled to death to be the flower girl for my dear Ate M. with hair curled, a gorgeous dress with lace and nice shoes. I remember being more than pleased with my appearance, but my only very clear memory of that day was looking at Ate M's face as she sang this song. I am sure I had heard it before, but for some reason, it never registered. I vowed at that moment to sing it at my wedding. however, I'm not saving it only for then, either, as I have been meditating on it a lot lately.

Life is struggle, remember?



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Considering:

I am considering beginning a photography blog. I could showcase my work, and use it as backup for recommendations and references. It would also be the easiest thing to hand someone a link in order to detail my experience.

Any ideas on a name?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Update

Yeah...I thought I should update:

So...I have updated!


lol

OK, so I will do something substantial.
Info for those of you who weren't at TeenPact:
May 5th is Yellow Ducky Day. Stuart L. is a genius.

TeenPact was amazing....it was TeenPactic....again. I have not found an organization that can change people's lives so substantially in four little days. That is why I love TeenPact.
That is why everyone should go to TeenPact. Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Remember this post?

Well, even if you don't, I'm re-posting. Something I thought I would never do....

http://abirdhouse.blogspot.com/2008/04/teenpact.html

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Photo Shoot

Monday (the 13th) was my younger brother's Volleyball tournament. I took my camera and persuaded a dear soul to sit for a photo shoot.
I must say we had great fun, and I definitely want to do this more. Besides, the better I get the more I can charge (which right now is nothing).

First, we sat around flowers, and I told her to smile or pose. She didn't trust me very much, and was unsure of exactly how all this would look/turn out, etc.
Then.....a wonderful thing began to happen as she got comfortable with me and the camera. She got ideas (and all photographers should listen to ideas) and began playing around.Playing around = having fun

Having fun = real smile
Real smile = AMAZING picturesAmazing pictures = "win!" (as she would say <3)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better than Life

Better than Life

In a dry and weary land where is no water
My soul is thirsting for you
I have seen you in the sanctuary
Beheld your power and glory
My lips will glorify you
I will praise you as long as I live
In your name I will lift up my hands


Your love is better than life
Your love is better than life
Earnestly I seek you
My soul is thirsting for you
Cause your love is better than life


Because you are my help
I will be singing
In the shadow of your wing
I'm staying close beside you
Your right hand upholds me
I think of you through the night
With singing lips I will praise
And my soul will be satisfied


Your love is better than life
Your love is better than life
Earnestly I seek you
My soul is thirsting for you
Cause your love is better than life



Oh, God, you are my God
Earnestly I seek you
I'm longing for you
Oh, God, you are my God
Earnestly I seek you
I'm longing for you

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trust - a poem

Trust is a hard thing.

Trust is allowing someone else to do and be for you. Trust is giving away power and telling secrets and sharing things that you would never want anyone else to know.
Trust is using faith. Faith in another person's decisions, and choices, and knowledge.
Trust is when you know that the other person would do everything in their power for you if you needed them.
Trust is knowing that they will never let you down if they can help it.
Trust is not needing to speak, because the one you can rely on is there.

Trust is hard.

Trust requires being vulnerable.
Trust needs to be returned.
Trust cannot be fleeting.
Trust requires more than a passing glance.

Trust is hard.

Trust leans
Trust waits
Trust hopes

Trust is hard.

Trust is giving a piece of yourself to another knowing it will be safe
Trust is giving a piece of yourself to another not knowing if things will change

Trust is hard.

Sometimes, trusting means you will be disappointed and let down.