Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Need For A New Man

It was a garden; fresh, peaceful, beautiful. Different animals of different patterns and colors were placed around. It was an Eden. Actually, it was a replica of Eden at the Creation Museum and my little 2 1/2 year old brother Andrew LOVED it. He wanted to see all the different animals. Sweetly, he would stop me and say, "Pick me up, peeeeeessss," because he wanted to see everything and touch the dinosaurs. I must admit, I really liked the garden too. I really got a sense of what a peaceful, beautiful place the real one must have been. We passed a waterfall......gorgeous....and then stepped into a hallway.
The walls were painted black, making the journey to the next room a dark trek. We saw the serpent, and Eve giving Adam some of the forbidden fruit and then we stepped into a room with pictures displaying the pain and depravity of sinful man. For me, it was a very saddening moment as I saw the stark contrast between the beautiful paradise of Eden and the world of sin and death. Andrew had tensed up as I held him. He didn't like this room. It was scary. But he was terrified.....and I mean terrified.....when we stepped into the next room which showed a dinosaur, now in a fallen state, that was growling and snapping as he turned his head from his lunch of another beast to Andrew. Little Andrew's fear really helped send the message home to my head a little further. We are a lost people, living in a world gone very far astray. The difference between God's ways and man's ways was quite clear, and it was heartbreaking.
There were several more exhibits and lots more info, but they ended the museum walk with a movie about the last Adam, which is Christ. I didn't actually watch the video there at their theater because I've seen it a few times at home. After seeing Eden and after seeing man's sin, I was greatly reminded of the hope we find in salvation. I am that sinful, broken man ( know what I'm tryin' to say), but when Christ saved me, He made me a new creation. Colossians 3: 9 &10 tell us that " have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:" When Christ saves us, He gives us the new man which is made in the image and likeness of His own self.
Friends, that is GLORIOUS!!!
But, we have to see the need for a new man. If we look at our lives and see "good" people, then why would we need a new man? We are not "good" people. We are bad; very, very, bad. We were born with hearts full of sin. That is why we need a new man. We need Christ.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Picture of Adoption

She was alone in the world. All had abandoned her. There was no one to love her, no one to care for her, no one to tell her that she was special because she was made in the image of God. Destitute and dying, physically and spiritually, she was left to bear the weight of the world on her own small shoulders.
Then a miracle happened.
Someone stepped into her world and loved her. They wrapped their arms around her. They told her that she was their child and that she was something special because God had made her. They took her from that destitute place and brought her to a home and a family. They gave her a new name and a new life.

But, she could not comprehend this love. She could not erase the memories of the darkness of her past. And though she cried in frustration that she wanted to love, she could not because she did not understand. The dark one was standing like an evil eclipse, blocking her view of the light.

Still they loved her. Still they fought for her. Everyday they sought to win her heart. They loved her unconditionally, even when others would ignore and pay no heed. Until one day something happened.
It did not happen when they had thought it would happen. It took much longer.
She opened her eyes.
She saw the light.
She saw the miracle of her life.
And she saw it because He was there and because They had shown her.

Adoption is a beautiful thing. It is not an easy thing. On the contrary, it is a hard thing. But it is beautiful. It is one of the most wearying battles you can fight, and one of the most painful. But it is beautiful. It is one of the greatest tests of faith and the greatest test of true unconditional love. But it is beautiful. It is a mission field, often without the support and without the outside care. But it is beautiful. It will maximize and show you every flaw in your being. But it is beautiful. It will make you wonder how you can love in the face of rejection.
But it is beautiful.
Because it is the most accurate picture of our relationship with Christ.
We are the broken and lost child. Jesus fought that wearying fight. It was painful, beyond what we can imagine, to bear the sin of the whole world on His shoulders as He was hung on the cross. He has loved us unconditionally through all of our wanderings and sins. He has loved us always even though we constantly reject Him. Every day He pleads with us to give up our past and see the light of His glory.

That is what adoption has taught me.
Adoption isn't "pie in the sky." It's easy to get a messed up conception. If you want to see a picture of adoption, look at a picture of Christ nailed upon the cross, bruised and bloodied, rejected and abandoned. That is adoption.
But don't forget to look at the empty tomb. Because there is victory. It may not come right away or  whenever you expect it. But there is victory.
 In Christ there is always victory!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hello there!
Yes, I'm still here. Just got back from a vacation to the Reformation Day Faire, Creation Museum, and U.S. Air Force Museum. It was an amazing trip and I have lots to write about, so you can look forward to some posts coming soon. :-)
God Bless!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Vote

One of the joys of growing older and becoming an "adult" is getting to vote. (A privilege that I take quite seriously.) I've been hearing lots of things about this election, mainly because people are disappointed with both the Republican and Democrat parties. Many Christians I know are not happy with Mitt Romney, but are still planning on voting for him because he's "better than Obama." I've heard several complaints and lots of articles, thus, I have been inspired to write a post about my thoughts on this election.

The first thing I want people to understand is that I am not trying to persuade you that I am right and you are wrong. I can't stand how some people will vote for someone simply because somebody else said that they should. I think it is the duty of every citizen to research their options and vote for the person that they believe should be in office. It is not my duty to inform you of the best candidate. That is your duty. What I want to write about is some ideas and principles that I have about voting. I am not going to tell you who I am voting for, although you will probably be able to figure it out if you do your research. So, here it goes.

For as long as I can remember, my parents have taught us children the importance of voting. Every election they would take us with them to the ballot box and show us who they were voting for. As I got older, I started listening in as they would research different candidates and decide on who they would vote for. For a long time I was very excited to be able to vote....that is, until this year. 

You see, I am a firm believer that voting is not only my duty to my country, but it is my duty before God to vote for officials that have godly morals and uphold the foundations that our Country was based on. That is becoming  very hard to find - though not impossible. I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I am not an Independent. I am an American citizen. I am also part of the next generation of voters in America. I don't know about you, but I am very concerned for my Country. We are headed in a very wrong direction economically, but even more important, morally. If I do not vote for men who uphold what our founding fathers laid down for us, then we will lose it. No doubt about it. 

I said I wouldn't tell you who I am voting for, but I will tell you that I am not voting for Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney. 

That is a stunning blow to some people. MANY people strongly disagree with me, but here's my point. I am tired of politics being the way they are. We have traveled so far off the path of our Founding Fathers that the future is truly looking quite bleak. I care about my children and grandchildren, and I know that if we don't start stepping outside of the box and taking a stand for what is right, we will never be able to get back on track. I may only have one, single vote. But, it's my vote, and I will not give it to someone who does not uphold the Constitution, the family, and the life of EVERY human, born or unborn. 

Several people have told me that if I am not voting for Romney then I am helping Obama. I see their point, but here's the thing. God is an all sovereign God. He has already ordained from the beginning of the world who will win this election. When this life is over and done, and I stand before God, He is not going to hold me accountable for who was elected, but rather who I cast my vote for. My Mom has a new maxim which is, "She did what she could do." I can't make someone become the President. I just can't, simple as that. But, I can vote for godly men who stand for the truth. I will be held accountable for who I vote for. 

I know that the man I am voting for will not win, apart from a miracle from God. But here's the thing; men like him will never win unless we begin to take a stand and quit voting for people just because they have a better chance of beating so-and-so. Politics will never change unless we change them. If no one ever votes for a godly man because he has no chance of winning, then guess what? He will NEVER have a chance of winning. I want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to vote for godly men who WILL have a chance at winning. And that will only happen if we start standing for what is right.

The Pilgrims weren't afraid to stand for what was right. They left everything they had ever known and came to a new a desolate world in order to find freedom. Our Founding Fathers risked their lives to make this land free. It was the Providence of God that allowed us to beat the British in the Revolutionary War. We shouldn't have won, but the men who fought were men of principle that were fighting for something bigger than the here and now. They were fighting for their children, grandchildren, and all the future generations that would follow them. That's what I want to do. I want to fight with the future in mind....the long distance future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Verse

Genesis 15:1
"After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying,
Fear not, Abram:
I am thy shield,
and thy exceeding great reward."

He is our shield.
 He is our reward.
 He is the one we must put our trust in.
Rulers and Kings will fail us, but He will be God forevermore.

Election post soon to come. :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Nathan

Happy Birthday to one of the sweetest little boys ever!!!
(This picture is from last year when he still had the curls.)

I love this little fella so much. 
I am so thankful to God that He has given me Nathan as a little brother. This little guy has taught me so much about love. He is always very forgiving and loving.

Happy 5th Birthday Little Man!!!

What would I do without you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Rose

I have lots of plans, goals, and ambitions.
One of the biggest downfalls in my life is that I don't like to give them up.
On Sunday, our pastor read a very profound quote.
"It's more fun to search for the truth, than it is to accept the truth"
I don't know who said it. It was a quote that he read in a book.
That quote represents a huge part of my life. I search for the truth, I really do. I want to know God's will for my life. I want to know His plans. My aim is to follow where He leads me.
The problem is, usually the answer is sitting right here in my lap, but I don't like it. I would rather keep searching in the hope that there will be another answer, because I'm not content with the one He has given me.

I've always wanted to write a book - I still do. I've always wanted to be the kind of person that would be able to get up on stage and talk to hundreds of people about God. I want to be the kind of person that impacts hundreds of thousands of people for Christ. 
I don't think any of those ambitions are necessarily wrong. What's wrong is my desperate, prideful attitude that says I'm not glorifying God unless I do all those things. I was listening to a Paul Washer sermon last night and he painted one of the most beautiful pictures of the Christian faith that I have ever heard.

He asked if God took the most beautiful, perfect rose that He had ever created, and He placed it in the middle of a dense forest where no man would ever walk by, would it be a waste of that rose?
He said that some would answer yes, it would be a waste because it would never bring glory to God from where it was because no one would ever see it.
His reply was, "You fool."
God, the Creator who placed that rose there would see it every day. And every day that rose would bring glory to His name. 

Even if God is the only one who sees me and my broken attempts to bring glory to His name, it is enough. He sees and that's all that matters. I don't have to write that book to bring glory to His name. If He wants me to write it, He'll make a way, but if He doesn't, that's okay. I don't have to speak to hundreds of people about the gospel to bring glory to His name. Right now, I am being called to bring glory to His name right here, even if no one ever sees but Him.

You Raise Me Up

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oh blogger, it seems so long since I have seen your layout and typed on these keys. Has it really been but a week?

We were camping for a few days, then we came home for a day of piano lessons, then headed back out to  Christian camp for a work weekend, and now I'm home and I've just made some puppy chow because tomorrow is dessert Sunday at church and there was no other dessert that I could think of to make.
Being away from home for a week reminds me of how much I do love our home. Sometimes I get restless and take this home for granted. But it is home, and as Dorthy said, "There's no place like home."
I'll try to get back to posting in the mornings again. Forgive me if it takes a day or two to get back into the swing of things.
Here are a couple beautiful pictures that my Mom took while we were camping.

A fall view from our campsite.

Wood pile. I love wood piles, don't ask me why, but there is just something rustically wonderful about them.

My Dad faithfully reading us devotions as he always does. <3 p="p">

There are more, but these are my three favorites.