Friday, December 30, 2011

Loss

Today it rained most drearily. And although we have all been hoping for snow - especially for the sake of my sister-in-law Hannah, visiting from Arizona - the rain seemed appropriate.

We got the news this morning that a man from our church died from a heart attack. Please be in prayer for his wife - now widow - and his two daughters, a sensitive 11 year old and a rambunctious 4 year old. Pray also for us a church family, that we can be the Body of Christ to them. Thank you.

~*~

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Psalm Pstudy: 31-40

Feeling stressed? Frustrated? Bored? Insecure? Reckon some Fact:

31. My times are in His hand.


32. Jesus is my hiding place.


33. Jesus is right.


34. Jesus delivered me from all my fears.


35. Jesus fights against those who fight against me.


36. Jesus gives [men] drink from the river of His pleasures.


37. Jesus upholds the righteous.


38. Jesus is my salvation.


39. Jesus is the remover of plagues.


40. Jesus thinks upon me.


I love this stuff! Look up the actual Psalms - God said it and He cannot lie.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Random - New, Almost-new, & Timeless

New favorite Eric Ludy sermon: Wings Like Eagles (4/25/2010). I just listened to it yesterday, and it was amazing.
Timeless favorite E.L. sermon: Reckoning With Truth (10/31/2010). This may be my all-time favorite. That message, that week, changed my life for good!

New favorite song: I don't know the name of it, but one line is stuck in my head: "Love, and Joy, and Peace, and Righteousness, in the Holy Spirit, oh oh oh oh...."
Almost-new favorite song: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" A new version of the old hymn, combining majestic and personal adoration of Jesus.

Almost-new favorite book: Princess. This book was fascinating, heart-rending, and at times even horrifying. It's a real life story that reveals a lot about the lives of Saudi Arabian women. After I finished reading, I walked outside into a lovely sunshiny day and felt guilty. Not that I had done something wrong, but that I was free in so many ways they might never be. God came for them to have abundant life, and He is burdened for them.
Timeless favorite book, again!: Psalms

New favorite movie: Babies. Zadok Johnson once said something to the effect of, "Who needs a TV when you have a baby around?" Just watched a film by this title that lets you watch four babies from totally different countries "from their first breath to their first steps". It's relax-paced, funny, and extremely cute. Caveat: It's not for everyone; there is cultural/maternal nudity throughout. (PG) Go find a baby near you to watch!

New favorite tradition: Giving overdue thank-you cards at Thanksgiving. The only problem is that you can never thank everybody you ought to!

Almost new & timeless favorite verse: "But the word (†) is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it." Deuteronomy 30:14

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick Quote

Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of sermons. - Charles Spurgeon

Thanks to NRJohnson for the quote. O how I want my life to illustrate this!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday: 2011

Every Thanksgiving our mom has us write what we are thankful for in our "Thanksgiving Scrapbook". There are also pictures of the day, and a verse that my dad picks out.

Here is what I wrote this year:
Thankfulness Two Thousand Eleven
Nothing tops Jesus, the sweet taste of heaven
Ellerslie, a year of blessing
Hero-training, waiting and testing
Priceless family, days at home
Precious study, times near the Throne
Working and learning, an endless frontier
To Jesus be all my thanksgiving this year.
                      ~*~ Elizabeth

I thank Him for you, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Just Because!

Although I've been attempting to establish a tradition for the month (things to be thankful for on Thursday) but I didn't have a post ready this week. Instead, take a minute and meditate on  the verse my Hero-Training class memorized this week:


...in everything give thanks...


I told them the story of Corrie and Betsy ten Boom giving thanks for the fleas as they were prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp. Then I asked the kiddos what the hardest thing for them to give thanks for was. Their answer: Mosquitoes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Good Books

I heard once that you can tell a lot about someone by what's on their bookshelf. Apparently I am not the same person that I was before Ellerslie (no one ever is!) because ever since I came back my book collection has, without any conscious action on my part, taken on a whole new character. Stick around and I'll take you on a virtual tour of all my best books... well, almost all of them.


Exhibit A
One of the shelves of my dresser. Baby name books, assorted Christian books, my NASB and Precious Moments Bibles, miscellaneous journals, calligraphy books, and on the far right, the novel of novels, Scottish Chiefs.

Exhibit B
The it-didn't-fit-on-the-shelf stack atop my dresser. With the exception of The Believer's School of Prayer by Andrew Murray, these are all post-Ellerslie. The pink book is by a fellow student.

Exhibit C
My primary music collection. L-R: Guitar music folder, piano music folder, church worship team collection, Ellerslie song collection, hymnal. 

Exhibit D
My current bedside study stack. Because He Loves Me (thanks Kristen!!!), The Calvary Road, and the dual-service notebook. Also my very old KJV Bible.

Exhibit E
The best for last! This stack goes upstairs and downstairs every single day, minus the concordance. My NKJV Bible, Journal, and mechanical pencil are my best friends. More of Jesus!!!  Books that point to Him are worth giving thanks for.

PS: You know how there's always somebody who misses picture day and doesn't get their pretty face included in the yearbook? Well, here too. Not pictured: Rees Howells - Intercessor, and my Ellerslie Session Notes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Grandparents

I am blessed to have five terrific grandparents, all living. I would like to share why my grandparents are so great.

Grandpa (My dad's dad) - He introduced me to a love for playing piano. He was the first piano teacher I had, and the one who challenged me to take it up again when I was a teenager. Now I love playing on his grand piano, not the least because I think he enjoys hearing me! I also love his constant wisecracks and jokes, and the fact that he was a square dance caller!

Grandma (My dad's mom) - She is always serving. Preparing food, helping grandkids with constant requests, and never complaining about it, ever. But she's not a pushover. She is, however, one of the gentlest, most clear-headed people I know. She taught me and Valerie how to sew... a great gift.

Gramma M (My mom's mom) - She is so many things: a hairdresser by trade, a gift-giver by nature. I love that she visits every year, even though she lives in California. She is also a tireless servant, washing dishes and scrubbing bathtubs without ever being asked (like we would!). She keeps us on our toes - if we don't do our chores fast enough, she will! I love that she is still an active square dancer, and looks amazing in the fancy dresses. :) She always sends a card for each birthday, half-birthday (family practice), and anniversary.

Grandpa O (My mom's dad) -  He built our favorite swingset, despite our "help". That is only one of the many projects that he has tackled when he came to visit. (He lives in Washington State, formerly California.) He is a very diligent worker. At one time he worked at a station above the Arctic Circle. I like his Canadian accent that you can hear sometimes. With him as my partner, we pulled ahead for a great victory in Spite & Malice! (his and Grandma Jan's favorite card game).

Grandma Jan (My mom's stepmom) - Even though we are not biologically related, she has always and will always be a grandma to me. She is very candid and intelligent and a great person to converse with. I always like hearing about places they've traveled. I think it's great how she and Grandpa O play golf together. She remembers our birthdays, too!


Thank you for being such wonderful grandparents! I love you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anno Domini

One year ago, I was just arriving in Denver, Colorado. I was more excited than I've ever been in my life. I didn't know exactly what was ahead of me, but I knew it was good. God had brought me thus far, and I knew He had something amazing in store. I had no idea how true that was.

That day was the start of something. Something that so defined my life, that I feel like this is the beginning of my year rather than January 1.

2011 AD. Anno Domini, "the year of our Lord". I don't know exactly (or partially!) what's ahead of me... but I know it's good. God has brought me thus far, and I know He has something amazing in store. I have no idea how true that is.

And even though this October 11 doesn't look much like last year's, I'm excited.

O Israel, hope in the Lord! (Ps. 130:7)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quick Quote

"I have found truly joyful Christians only in the Bible, in the Underground Church, and in prison."
-Richard Wurmbrand, from Tortured For Christ

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If the Lord wills...

 Maybe you would be interested to know that my brother Chris is getting married on Monday? Hannah Joy is to be my very first sister-in-law. We are all flying down to Arizona on Saturday. Of course...
"If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."- James 4:15

May His will be done! Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Maturity is a funny thing.

  • Remember how when your mom told you to set the table you needed her to get the plates and cups down for you because you couldn't reach them?
  • Remember how when you were younger, your dad had to pitch the baseball about 20 times before you could hit it?
  • Remember when 7x8=? was a hard question? And 3X+2=14 didn't look like a sensible question at all?
  • Remember when you couldn't start the push-mower by yourself because you couldn't pull the ignition string hard enough?
  • Remember when writing a 300-word essay sounded as hard as writing a book?
  • Remember how when you were first learning to drive, you had to concentrate so hard just to stay in your lane? 
  • Remember when flying by yourself within the United States sounded super-daunting? 
Those are just part of growing up here on earth. But there's another realm to grow in.
  • Remember when Bible stories were only stories and not "doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness"?
  • Remember when you did your devotions because you knew you were supposed to and not because you would feel spiritually hungry if you didn't?
  • Remember when your time, body, money, effort, affections, and future weren't surrendered to the One they belong to?
  • Remember when praying for more than 5 minutes felt like forever? How about 30 minutes? An hour? All night? (My little brothers still feel that more than 30 seconds is a stretch.)
  • Remember when you didn't know how to say "No!" to the enemy?
  • Remember when sermons were boring because you didn't have any interest in them?
  • Remember when you didn't care about the souls of the people around you? Or those on the other side of the world?
  • Remember when you read Bible verses but didn't get them yet?
  • Remember when you didn't love Jesus as much as you do today?
This list is not one of things I have mastered. Most of these areas can never be mastered. There's always room to grow, farther to go. But that's part of the adventure!

Farther up and further in!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why mouth?

This summer, the four youngest kids are participating in the Bible Bee. They are memorizing a whole bunch of verses as well as doing an inductive Bible study on 1 Peter. Even though I had several memorization projects already, I decided I wanted to memorize the verses along with them. Stephanie and I are doing about 70 verses, and they are conveniently ordered in the order found in the Bible. Currently I'm working on Psalm 32:3-5, but I'm a bit behind schedule.

One morning not long ago, I was reading in the book of Joshua. I've been making my way through it since April, and I had made it to Chapter 12 already, but on a whim I looked up the only Bible Bee verse in Joshua. 
Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.- Joshua 1:7-8

  It read it through, and suddenly a question occurred to me. In verse 8 it says, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth". Why "mouth"? Shouldn't it be your eyes? What would a book be doing in your mouth for anyway? Ah, but it clearly says "mouth", not "eyes". Every word of God is flawless (Prov. 30:5), and there isn't a single word of Scripture that is put in on accident.. Still, I wondered why it was so. 

Right then, in that wonderful way that He does, God made me realize something. The Book of the Law was in Joshua's mouth because he was speaking them, not reading them. He had them memorized! How else could he meditate in them day and night? Joshua was a busy man! He didn't have all day to pore over the printed page; he wasn't a scribe. He was a war general, the leader over an entire displaced nation. He needed to know it anytime, anywhere.

There is something about memorizing Scripture that gets it into you in a way that simply reading it doesn't. When I am memorizing, I have to pay attention to every single word; skim reading just won't cut it. The meaning comes out in a new way every time. "For GOD so loved the world/ For God SO LOVED the world/ For God so loved the WORLD!" I repeat it over and over again, and in effect, am preaching to my own soul.

There is a power in reading words, another in hearing them, and another in speaking them. It says in Romans 10:10, "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." You cannot say something you do not believe, unless you are lying. It shows whether it is actually in you. If, when my siblings do their regional Bible Bee competition, they are asked to recite a verse that they haven't memorized, will they be able to speak it? Of course not! It's not in them. Likewise, unless we have taken in the Truth, we cannot speak it.

If you think about it, the eyes come first, but the mouth is much more intimate. You might look at everything at the buffet table, but that doesn't mean it's all going in your mouth! (Watch out for the wasabi!) And think of the change in a relationship after that first kiss, or even after the first conversation. Eating, breathing, kissing, speaking, all these are what the mouth does. And what are we to have in our mouth? Jesus! He is the Bread of Heaven, the Breath of Life, our Heavenly Bridegroom, and the very Word of God. He's the One that all these metaphors were created to point to in the first place. It is clear, He is supposed to be in us.

Now think for a moment, if God's words are in our mouth, and they aren't departing, then there isn't exactly any room for your words any longer. Your mouth has become His mouth. As it should be, for we are His Body. "'and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph. 5:31b-32) When His words are in your mouth, it doesn't mean you quote nothing but Scripture all day long (Although I'd like to see someone give directions for making chocolate chip cookies that way.) What it means is that the only words that come out of your mouth are what is in accordance with Jesus. Only what is true and noble, pure and praiseworthy, wise and edifying. Only what glorifies the Lord.

Oh that you and I would be filled with Him today! That we would delight in Him, taking Him in and pouring Him forth. That we would literally "treasure [His] words more than [our] necessary food" (Job 23:12) and "meditate in them day and night" so that we do not turn from Him to the right hand or to the left.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

"But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it." (Deut. 30:14)



Monday, July 4, 2011

Free


Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  (Galatians 5:1)



For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ's slave. (1 Corinthians 7:22)
 

 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A book about the Book

 Another book recommendation!

After being advised to read some Puritan authors, I decided to see what I could find in our library's catalog. It was a simple search because I could only remember one eligible name: Matthew Henry. To make things even simpler, the only item featured by him in the whole interlibrary system was...

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible 

So I checked it out. And it's fantastic. Don't panic at the ginormous size. I got an somewhat abridged edition and it's still huge. Just read what you can. I especially like reading what he says about passages that I'm already pretty familiar with. My favorite section that I've read so far is the very beginning: Genesis 1. It's good stuff. Plus, I realized that one of my favorite quotes came from this book:
“Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.” - Matthew Henry

Blessings as you treasure the best Book of all!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rainbow Camp

This isn't our picture but it captures the week. And we did have fruit loops. :)

Last week was Camp Week for our family. Valerie, Michael, Stephanie and my mom went our Awana honors camp, and my dad, Laura, David, Brian, and I did Rainbow Camp at home. Christopher wasn't left out, since he is working up at the camp in Wisconsin all summer.

I loved doing Rainbow Camp! This was the second year in a row I kept house while Mom went with the older kids, and this year was even better. Mostly because I was actually excited instead of nervous. Also, the basement didn't flood the night before (thank You, Jesus!) The reason it's called Rainbow Camp is that every day we do a different color theme. We wear the color, eat the color, even play games or activities related to the color. It has been so neat to spend this extra-involved time with my little sibs, as well as more time with my dad. They are such a blessing! It was also been a super practice opportunity for "playing Mom". I was telling my dad that it's not the individual jobs that are the challenge; I'm basically able to make meals, clean house, do the laundry, direct kiddos, etc. The hard part is being responsible for all of it, or as my grandma put it, "doing it all at the same time". Designing a well-planned schedule makes such a difference. The kids thrived with it. And you know what their favorite part was? Quiet Time after lunch. Yep, they like to read. I liked Quiet Time too, but I think directing Outside Games was my favorite part.

I thank God for where He has me right now. Did you know I have a home-schooling God? He has me at a perfect training ground. "He knows the path that I take." I wouldn't trade it for the world.
The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.  
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 
-Psalm 16:5-6

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Quote

"If you don't like holiness, then you probably won't like God." - Eric Ludy

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In 10 words or less...

The other day while I was shelving books at the library (my part-time job), the back of one book caught my eye. It was a memoir, or some sort of learn-from-my-life book by Valerie Bertinelli. Except for shelving her books -she has more than one- I would have no idea who she was, but I think her claim to fame is that she lost weight and looks 48 going on 21.  Anyway... on this back cover there was a quick character sketch survey, ie, name/height/weight/purpose in life/etc. It was the very last one that grabbed me, though.

Everything you know in 10 words or less:
Her answer: "Love, you always have a choice, exercise, portion control".

Ok, good for her. It shows what is important to her and what she wants to communicate to others. But what about me? How would I sum up everything I know in 10 words or less? What do I know? Anything? (My parents and teachers hope so.) And if so, what would I want to communicate to another?

As I considered how to best use my 10 words, I finally came to the conclusion: I only need three. Everything else is extraneous.

My answer: Jesus is all.

How about you? What is everything you know in 10 words or less?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Have you met Brother Andrew?

Book recommendation of the month! Title: God's Smuggler. Author: Brother Andrew.


More than anything else, I love reading or hearing stories of God showcasing Himself, and that's what the book is. It's about a man, known only as Brother Andrew due to the nature of his work, and how God got ahold of his life and gave him a ministry. He made many trips behind the Communist Iron Curtain to encourage the persecuted church and distribute Bibles. Many pastors and entire churches didn't own even one Bible! The stories are exciting and more incredible than any fiction, and testify to the faithfulness of our God. I was left praising God, as well as burdened to pray for the modern persecuted church.

There's also a "sequel" - the story of Brother Andrew's later work with Muslims, called Secret Believers. That's next on my reading list!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quick Quote

Here's some food for thought (don't choke!):
I can tell how much God you have by how much entertainment you need.  - A.W. Tozer

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Psalm Pstudy: 21-30

Did you know...?

21. Jesus' hand will find all His enemies.

22. Jesus is holy.

23. Jesus restores my soul.

24. Jesus is the King of glory.

25. Jesus teaches the humble His way.

26. Jesus vindicates those who walk in integrity.

27. Jesus is the strength of my life.

28. Jesus will give the workers of iniquity according to their deeds.

29. His voice is powerful and full of majesty.

30. His anger is but for a moment. His favor is for life.

(Sometimes I just had to sneak two in there!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rejoice!

Happy Easter!



May the Lord Jesus Christ be the glorious center of your day.


So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. - Matthew 28:8-9 NKJV

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Watch this.

In my blog reader, where I can see new posts from the blogs I follow, there are 6 posts in a row that are about the exact same thing. I will risk being called a copycat. It will be worth it if one more person can glimpse the majestic wonder of The Gospel. 12 minutes isn't that long. Please watch it.


The Gospel is so much more than "fire insurance", or a 6 letter acronym. It is life and freedom and it is real! We never stop needing it, and it only gets better! Oh, what a Jesus!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Prayer Request

I know this is kind of short notice, but if anyone reading could please pray for our pastor and his family. On Friday Pastor Cal was having chest pains and went to the hospital. Turns out he had a few heart attacks. One of his major arteries is completely blocked, and the others are 80% so. (No wonder he was getting tired easily.) Tomorrow (Monday) he is scheduled to have quadruple-bypass surgery. Please pray:
  1. That God would heal; that the surgery would be successful; that there would be no complications; and that his recovery would be accelerated.
  2. For his and his family's faith, peace, and joy in God; that they would trust that God and His Word more than Experience; that they would know Jesus' presence deeper and sweeter than ever before.
  3. That we as a church would be able to support them; that no breaches would happen or distractions prevail, especially right now at Easter time.
  4. For me - I'll be babysitting their grandkids tomorrow; pray that I can be sensitive and helpful.
Thank you so much! ~*~

Psalm Pstudy: 11-20

I feel like putting multiple exclamation points after each of these! This is exciting!

11. Jesus loves righteousness.

12. Jesus' words are pure.

13. Jesus has dealt bountifully with me.

14. Jesus looks down from heaven to see if there are any who seek God.

15. Jesus lets those who walk uprightly to dwell in His tabernacle.

16. Jesus is the portion of my inheritance and my cup.

17. By the word of His lips I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.

18. Jesus delivered me because He delighted in me.

19. Jesus' commandments enlighten the eyes.

20. Jesus saves His anointed.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Psalm Pstudy: 1-10

I am very, very excited about this post. It is Really Good Stuff. That's because it's nothing about me or my words. When I was at Ellerslie, I caught on to the amazing fact that the Word of God is, in fact, the Word of God, and it is absolutely TRUE! When you truly realize that, the Bible comes ALIVE! Combined with the truth that Jesus = the Word of God, it becomes even more amazing as you see Jesus shining out of every page.

This post was birthed out of two desires: the desire to know Jesus more, and the desire to read the Psalms again. I decided to read the Psalms and find and write down one thing that it taught me about Jesus. For 99% of the Psalms this was very simple, since Jesus is God, and the Psalms are full of clear statements about God.

So here are my findings, pretty much verbatim from whatever day I read them. I know from experience that when people post long informational posts, or posts full of Scripture, it can be easy to just skim over it, even if you know it's good for you. So I've decided to spread this over 15 posts to make it more accessible. Even so, please, please slow down and really take time to see Jesus for who He says He is.

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessings as you seek Him!

1. Jesus does not sin - His delight is in the law of the Lord.

2. It is useless, laughable, to stand against the Lord and His Anointed [Jesus].

3. Jesus is a shield for me.

4. Jesus has set apart for Himself him who is godly.

5. He is not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness.

6. Jesus has heard my supplication.

7. Jesus is trustworthy.

8. Jesus' name is excellent in all the earth.

9. Jesus shall endure forever.

10. Jesus observes trouble and grief, to repay it by His hand.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Best Thank-You Card Giver In The Whole World

I love my sister. The other day she was showing me the thank-you cards she had made for our grandparents for Christmas and such (better late than never!) I liked them so much that I told her,
"You are the best thank-you card maker in the whole world. I hope I draw your name [for the gift exchange] next Christmas so I can get a thank-you card from you!"
I think it was only the next day that she gives me this:





If you didn't understand all of that, don't feel bad. Reading her writing is like solving a good riddle or code (fun!). I'm still not sure what the part about the green paper (apperpay) is about. LOL. 
 
When you pray for little sisters (or brothers), God is so good! I love you, Laura!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hungry

"Did you see Anna*"? my sister asked. "She looks so different." It was true. Anna was the younger sister of a friend of mine, and it had been almost a year since I'd seen her last. She was a freshman in high school now, and taller than ever. But that was not the most noticeable difference about her. She'd always been a slender girl, but now she was as thin as a reed. Her face was sunken and deathly pale; her frame looked like skin on bird bones. Something was horribly, obviously, wrong. Later, I heard the explanation: anorexia. The eating disorder of not eating. It had gotten so bad that she was in danger of kidney failure and could die in her sleep. She wasn't allowed to run or do any strenuous activities. The news could hardly surprise me, the evidence was so obvious, yet I couldn't understand why. Why anyone would do such damage to their body, but most of all, why her? She is a Christian, and had been learning about God and memorizing Scripture since she was very young. She has a wonderful loving family, who is not too poor to put food on the table. And to top it all off, she had always been pretty, and never overweight. It just didn't make sense. The only explanation is that she was believing lies.

As I was thinking about Anna's sad state, I realized something. She is a picture of us - the modern American church. We too are believing in lies, and as a result are starving spiritually. On the surface we look great, with our megachurches and our music industry, our buildings and our Bible studies, but when you look deeper, what do you see? Is there freedom from sin? Is there peace that passes understanding, faith that moves mountains, love that bears all things, joy that runs over? These are the realities that should characterize our every minute of every day. But most people can't even comprehend such an existence, let alone live it out. They have no concept of standing up to the forces of darkness with the authority of Jesus Christ and "always being led in triumph". Instead they lie helpless on the ground, being kicked around by the enemy. In this helpless state they can hardly look beyond themselves to see the lost, needy, and oppressed in the world, much less go and rescue them.

Just like in Anna's situation, though, the solution has been available to us the whole time. Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life." If we take Him in, we are nourished, satisfied, and made strong. The reason the church is weak and dying is the same reason the world is weak and dying: they need Jesus. We have believed the lies that the world believes. "You don't need to know Jesus personally. It's enough to know about Him." "You don't need to read the Bible yourself. It's enough to be aware of the gist of it." "It's okay to read the Bible, but it's a little too extreme to believe it literally and obey it." No! The world's standard of beauty is deathly thin, and it kills. There is a better way. There is strength to be had, and it comes from Jesus.

But how do we take in Jesus? Again, the answer is right in front of us.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. - John 6:35

He says it so simply: you must come to Him and believe. Jesus is the Word of God in Person, the perfect expression of the whole Scripture. The Word of God in text is the treasure map that leads to Him. When we read it, hear it, believe it, and obey it, we are changed. There is more of Him and less of us. The Spirit of Christ is our Helper, and He fills us. And more and more, we know Him.
"We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still. " - St. Bernard
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." - Psalm 34:8 

Dear reader, do not assume this message is for others less mature than you. If anything, the strong need more sustenance than the infants. There is always more to be had of Jesus, higher degrees of maturity, deeper measures of satisfaction. It is not an instant one-time event, but a process of growth and increase. Continual growth requires regular meals. If you lack appetite, don't just shrug your shoulders and give up. Pray as A.W. Tozer did, "I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing;" That's a prayer that God delights to answer, for He loves to fill those who are hungry for Him.

Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live; -Isaiah 55:2-3a

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A kid's dream come true!

I hope I never grow out of loving snow.

Brian (I think he might've just been hit by a snowball.)


Ever measure drifts by how many rungs of the ladder are buried?


*open the door very carefully*


That's David, in case you couldn't recognize him.


Who needs more than a tunnel to get into the garage?


You can see the average depth here.


Our industrious workers. Don't quit now, we've only started!


 6 hours later. We did it!



A beautiful sunset after a beautiful sunny, snowy, shovel-y day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

About Elodie

There's a little girl I know whose name is Elodie. I met her when I visited my penpal Lucile in France in 2004. She was only 5 months old then. She was a really adorable baby. She didn't have much hair, but she had a smile that could melt anyone's heart. She had chubby cheeks that dimpled, and when she laughed you could see her first teeth starting to peek out. She would giggle furiously whenever I shook my hair around. I never got tired of hearing her laugh. I would play with her while her mom chatted in French with Lucile's family. We had fun, Elodie and I. She was a very special baby.

Sometimes I think about how she is now. She's probably in school, learning French and arithmetic and science and art. I imagine her with her little school friends, playing on the playground. Maybe she likes making up stories like my little sister. Maybe her favorite thing to do is play with dolls or toy animals. Maybe she draws pictures and writes, "Je t'aime Maman!" (I love you Mommy!). I wonder if her hair is long and curly like her mom's was. I wonder if she has a little brother or sister now. I wonder if her family has ever heard about Jesus.

Elodie would've turned seven this year. But she won't be having a birthday party. In fact, she's never had a birthday party. She never even turned one year old. That's because her life was cut short before she was even born.

Elodie is real, but I never met her. I never heard her laugh, and her mom never heard her say, "Je t'aime, Maman!" While I was in France, Lucile just happened to tell me about a girl at her school who had gotten pregnant. The school nurse was able to give her abortion inducing drugs to "take care of it" without her parents ever knowing about it. When I heard this, I was shocked and horrified. I knew abortion existed, but this was the first time I really comprehended the godlessness of it. My heart was instantly tied to this poor girl, this prematurely young mother who never met her baby.

As far as I know, Jesus and I are the only ones who grieve for Elodie. (My apologies if it should be Elias.) Her mother and the school nurse didn't regard her as precious, her grandparents didn't even know about her, and even Lucile referred to her life with a shrug. I gave her a name since no one else did: Elodie Elàn W. I'm not sure what the W. stands for but if you listen to or watch the message that stirred all these thoughts up, maybe you'll understand.

Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy

-Proverbs 31:8-9
Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, "Surely we did not know this,"
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
-Proverbs 24:11-12

Open your mouth, Bride of Christ! Pray! When we pray His prayers, His Word will not return void. We are not helpless bystanders. Pray that even today that hearts of mothers and fathers would be turned toward their children, and toward their Heavenly Father. Lord Jesus, let us be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ellers

I was flipping through the indexes in my hymnal (The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration), when something caught my eye. In the index of tunes, there was a tune with my name on it. Cool! I'm still not sure why it has my name on it, but the song is "Jesus Is All The World To Me". I'll take it! While still looking at the tune index, I saw a name that made me look twice: there was a tune with the name "Ellers". Two different songs went with it. So I looked them up. Wow... Now I realize that hymns are usually about Jesus, and Ellerslie is about Jesus, so it makes sense for hymns to relate to Ellerslie, but I thought these two songs particularly captured what happened there, especially the first one.
439 - Cleanse Me by J. Edwin Orr
Search me, O God, and know my heart today; Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray: See if there be some wicked way in me: Cleanse me from ev'ry sin, and set me free.
I Praise Thee Lord. for cleansing me from sin: Fulfill Thy Word, and make me pure within; Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame: Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine: Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine; Take all my will, my passion, self and pride; I now surrender: Lord in me abide.
O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee: Send a revival start the work in me: Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need: For blessing now, O Lord, I humbly plead.
 

604 - Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name by John Ellerton

Savior, again to Thy dear name we raise
With one accord our parting hymn of praise;
Once more we bless Thee ere our worship cease;
With eager hearts we wait Thy word of peace.

Grant us Thy peace upon our home-ward way;
With Thee began, with Thee shall end the day;
Guard Thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame,
That in this house have called upon Thy name.

Monday, January 10, 2011

You know you're from Ellerslie if...

In honor of the start of the Ellerslie Winter/Spring season starting, I present this lighthearted post. My apologies to everyone who hasn't been through Ellerslie; it's not my intention to make you feel excluded. It was simply a stroll down Memory Lane for me and I hope it brings a smile to somebody.


You know you're from Ellerslie if...
  • you know where Windsor, CO is without looking it up.
  • you say, "Good job, buddy!" as a quote.
  • you know more than a dozen people who pace while they pray.
  • you can't describe something as rich without adding dark chocolate rich.
  • you laugh whenever someone says something about, "There are three things".
  • you know what enunciate and efficacious mean.
  • you think Johnson and Falencia are two of the cutest kiddos in the world.
  • "God Most High" and "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken" are two of your favorite songs.
  • you know what book the Chapter 5 is in.
  • "Ono" reminds you of going out for coffee.
  • you use odd Greek-English phrases like "No ekkakeo!"
  • you're the Big Meanie's Archenemy Number 1.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

With Sword in Hand

Never have I been more aware that I am in a battle. Not with the people around me, not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world. God is giving me specific assignments to wrestle in prayer for. I was feeling really inadequate - which is a good thing, since I certainly am - but by the Lord I received this commission and by Him will I do it. He gave me this Scripture today, and it really encouraged me that I was doing what He wanted me to do.
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
- Isaiah 62:6-7
If you read it in context, the rest of the chapter is about the awesome things the Lord is going to accomplish. Righteousness -the way it ought to be- will go forth. (v.1) The Lord will be praised! (v.9) Salvation is coming. (v.11). Be strong and courageous, children of God!  He is faithful and worthy to be praised at all time. You have everything you need in Him.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Truth About Happy New Year

I had a lot of fun this morning during my quiet time. With the help of my trusty concordance, I searched the Word for what He had to say about Happy New Year... one word at a time. I thought I'd share some of my findings. As much as I would've liked to stop on each verse and dig deeper, there's something really neat about looking at the collection as a whole. Jesus how magnificent you are from every angle!

Verses are taken from the NJKV unless noted as KJV.


.::Happy::.

Happy are you, O Israel!
Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD,
The shield of your help
And the sword of your majesty!
Your enemies shall submit to you,
And you shall tread down their high places.
Deuteronomy 33:29

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 KJV

Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!
Psalm 144:15b

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God
Psalm 146:5

He who despises his neighbor sins;
But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Proverbs 14:21

He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.
Proverbs 16:20

Happy is the man who is always reverent,
Proverbs 28:14a

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
John 13:17 KJV

But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
1 Peter 3:14 KJV

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1 Peter 4:14 KJV


.::New::.
(There were so many exciting verses about new things that this is quite a long list.)

 For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you. You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.
Leviticus 26:9-10

And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
Judges 15:15 KJV

Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
Psalm 33:3

He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear, 
And will trust in the LORD. 
Psalm 40:3

 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
Psalm 81:3 KJV :)

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
Psalm 98:1

Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
And His praise in the assembly of saints.
Psalm 149:1

Honor the LORD with your possessions, 
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said,
“ See, this is new”?
It has already been in ancient times before us.
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10

The mandrakes give off a fragrance,
And at our gates are pleasant fruits,
All manner, new and old,
Which I have laid up for you, my beloved.
Song of Solomon 7:13

Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Sing to the LORD a new song,
And His praise from the ends of the earth,
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
Isaiah 42:9,10

Behold, I will do a new thing, 
Now it shall spring forth; 
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19

You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the LORD will name.
Isaiah 62:2b

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Jeremiah 31:31

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“ Therefore I hope in Him!”
Lamentations 3:21-24
 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 11:19-20

Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”
Ezekiel 18:31-32

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.
Mark 2:22

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
Luke 22:20

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34

Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
Acts 2:13

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
1 Corinthians 5:7

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:20-24

In that He says, “A new covenant, ” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 8:13

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-22

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:13

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
Revelation 2:17

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
Revelation 3:12

And they sang a new song, saying:
“ You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:9-10

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Revelation 21:5a

.::Year::.

Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him.
Genesis 26:12

This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exodus 12:2

I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land
Exodus 23:29-30

And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.
Leviticus 25:10

Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey.
Numbers 9:22

For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.
Deuteronomy 11:10-12

Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.
Joshua 5:10-12

This shall be a sign to you:
You shall eat this year such as grows of itself,
And in the second year what springs from the same;
Also in the third year sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
      Shall again take root downward,
      And bear fruit upward.
2 Kings 19:29-30
Now it happened after this that Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the LORD. Then he gathered the priests and the Levites, and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you do it quickly.”
However the Levites did not do it quickly.
2 Chronicles 24:4-5
 And we made ordinances to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of the LORD;
Nehemiah 10:35
You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
Psalm 65:11

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me...
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God; 
Isaiah 61:1a,2a

For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
      And the year of My redeemed has come.
Isaiah 63:4

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Zechariah 14:16

And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.
2 Corinthians 8:10-11

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 9:24-26

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
James 4:13-14

Oh that 2011 would be a year of happiness, of blessing, of newness and regeneration, because of the impartation of the Everlasting Father, the Ancient of Days, the Beginning and the End, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Come Lord Jesus, come!