Friday, December 28, 2007

Verse to Encourage...

Colossians 1:15-20 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thoughts about Christmas

In the busy season of Christmas, we are often overwhelmed, or at least, have much on our minds. Thoughts of what to buy all the special people on our Christmas list, what to eat for Christmas dinner, when to set up the tree and lights, and various other things plague our minds. So often, we tend to forget the true meaning of Christmas—Christ. Christians should be filled with awe and gratitude that our loving Creator would send His only Son to redeem us from our sins. It is so easy to make light of Christ’s birth, and the ultimate reason He came to earth, and instead center our holidays around insignificant things.

Here is what Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6-7


Let us determine to set aside time during the busyness of December to remember the true reason for the season. Let’s exalt Christ, ponder the majesty of God and His important announcement of His Son—our Messiah— being born.


Gloria in excelis Deo!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tag

Here is a tag I came up with, although I did take some questions from previous 'tags' I've seen. If you are interested in completing this tag on your blog, please leave a comment so I can be sure to check it out! To fill this out, simply copy the questions, and replace my answers with your own. Have fun!
  1. Are you a Christian? Yes
  2. If the above answer was yes, how old were you when you became a Christian? 8

FAVORITES

  1. What is your favorite Bible verse? Hmm… probably Prov. 31:30 or Prov. 3:5-6
  2. What is your favorite Old Testament book? Deuteronomy
  3. What is your favorite New Testament book? James
  4. Who is your favorite Old Testament character? Abraham or Esther
  5. Who (with the exception of Jesus) is your favorite New Testament character? Paul
  6. What is your favorite book and/or series? So Much More
  7. Favorite movie- The Chronicles of Narnia—The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
  8. Favorite music- worship, piano, or classical
  9. Favorite song- In Christ Alone & Cry of My Heart (I have a ton, but I’ll just mention two)
  10. Favorite food- Sweet Potatoes
  11. Favorite subject in school- English/Grammar
  12. Favorite trip you’ve taken- Our East Coast Trip

LEAST FAVORITES

  1. Least favorite book- Hitty: Her First One Hundred Years
  2. Least favorite movie- ???
  3. Least favorite song- Jesus, Take the Wheel (along with others that get stuck in my head)
  4. Least favorite food- cooked spinach
  1. Where are you reading in the Bible right now? Job and Hebrews
  2. Are you trying to memorize any portion of the Bible right now? Yes
  3. If the above answer was yes, what is the reference to the portion you are memorizing? Matthew 12:34-37
  4. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? I don’t know!
  5. Are you allergic to anything? If so, what? Everything. ; ) Many outdoor allergens, certain raw fruits and veggies, almonds, cats, dogs….
  6. Do you play any instruments? What? Piano, clarinet, and a little guitar
  7. Do you like to sing? Yes, especially harmony with my siblings and mom
  8. Do you know how to cook? Do you like to? Yes, I love cooking, and even more—baking. It’s fun being in the kitchen and trying out new recipes. : )
  9. Do you like to help people? Yes, who wouldn’t?? I enjoy spending my time serving others.
  10. Do you like children? Like isn't the right word. Children are a gift from God, made in His image. I hope that God will bless me with many someday.
  11. Do you babysit? Yes
  12. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Definitely a morning person
  13. Are you organized? YES
  14. Do you like to read? When I have the time, I enjoy reading things I’ve chosen
  15. Do you consider yourself creative? Kind of, but not real creative.
  16. Are you fun to be around? I hope so!
  17. Do you play any sports? Yes If so, what? I play tennis and cup stack (both for fun)
  1. Do you write letters? Yes, I am a loyal friend and have many pen-pals
  2. Do you email? Yes, if someone emails me back :)
  3. Without looking at the time, what time do you think it is? 1:36
  4. Now what time is it really? 1:49
  5. What’s the most recent song you’ve had stuck in your head? Firm Foundation
  6. What’s the most recent trip you’ve taken? East Coast trip to the Virginia area
  7. Ever been out of the U.S.A.? Ha ha! We accidentally went past the U.S. border, into Mexico once. We meant to stop and walk across the border.
  8. Are you homeschooled? YES and LOVE IT!!!
  9. If so, have you always been? Yes
  10. How long did it take you to complete this tag? 20 minutes

Although this tag is open to anyone who would like to attempt it, I would like to tag Katie, Luke, Caleb, and Kristen. Make sure if you do this you tag someone else!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Blessings...

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” Psalm 33:12

Thanksgiving blessings to all! I hope that on this day each and every person would take a special time to thank our Lord and Savior for His abundant blessings. And don’t forget what believers should continually thank God for—sending His one and only Son to die for our numerous sins! God is so good, so gracious, so merciful, so incredible! Americans have much to be grateful for, so much in fact, that we take for granted. So will you today, on this day known as the national day of Thanksgiving, take time to personally thank God for all He has done for you, in you, and through you?

Also, may I encourage you with some quotes from men of the past?

“We, shall by planting there enlarge the glory of the gospel, and from England plant sincere religion, and provide a safe and a sure place to receive people from all parts of the world that are forced to flee for the truth of God’s Word.”
-Richard Hakluyt, Jamestown Founder

“I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this.”
-Benjamin Franklin


"It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence."
-John Adams


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

A great read prior to Thanksgiving! :)

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their Joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the greatest degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executived and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

George Washington
City of New York
October 3, 1789


Friday, November 16, 2007

Encouraging One Another

Multiple times the Bible commands us as believers to encourage others. I Thessalonians 5:11 states “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”. Hebrews 10:24 likewise says “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”. Clearly these two verses give a picture that we are to be continually encouraging each other. This has application in the area of encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ towards godliness and holiness. Delightfully we are to build each other up with our encouraging words. Whether you realize it or not, each person is an example to someone they know, and their actions and encouragement can stir those people towards godliness, or unfortunately also lead them in the opposite direction. How we treat each other, and the words we use, are so exceedingly important. We must strive to make sure our conversations and words are edifying and encouraging, for this is what God desires to see in us.

So how can we be encouraging? Obviously, one way to do this is by praising others when they do things well, or choosing the right thing no matter the cost. Finding godly qualities to praise in your siblings is another necessary thing to do. Endeavoring to speak things that are building up and edifying instead of derogatory and rude is something we should all attempt to do. Of course, none of this is possible without the grace and ability given through Christ alone! The only way we can desire to be encouraging and building up is by turning to God and asking Him to think of others more highly than ourselves. Hebrews 3:13 instructs us to “Encourage one another daily”. How will you be an encouragement to all around you today?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another Poem

Here's a poem for the time being... I hope to have a "real" post up soon! :)

FATHER OF MINE
Sarah K. Marinee

Father of mine, some years ago
You showed me the way I ought to go;
By the gentle clasp of your own strong hand.


Father of mine, let me thank you for
The prayers you prayed and the burden you bore.
Like a guiding star thro’ the tempests’ strife,
All you precepts have shone on my path of life.


Father of mine, when the time has passed
And the work of my life is complete at last,
When I step ashore on the glory strand
With a grateful heart I will clasp your hand.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interesting Poem...

Here is a neat poem I found in a book, displaying the importance of the family.

A CHRISTIAN HOME

Barbara B. Hart

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide;
Where every child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified;
How sweet to know that thought his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side.


O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each find joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho days be dark and grim.


O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor.
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Making Music Unto the Lord

There are numerous verses that contain reference to worship and making music to the Lord, especially many Psalms. Worshipping and making music together is something my family loves to do. We love to play instruments together, sing harmony, and worship. I received a guitar for my birthday a couple years ago, and recently I began playing/practicing more. I am teaching myself how to play, in order to be able to play worship chords. In our church we have a handful of guitarists, either who are beginners or who haven’t played in a while. We found on our first attempt that it is tremendously fun to make music unto the Lord together in worship. Psalm 92:1-4 says, “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.” Now, I don’t play the harp (although I would love to learn), but for us, the melody of the guitars substitutes in this verse. As it says in Judges 5:3, “I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD”, so we did, and although it was not magnificent and awe-inspiring (for we had not practiced), it was thoroughly enjoyable. The Lord loves it when His people, in right relationship with Him, call upon Him in worship. Psalm 29:2 articulates it well: “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.” In the end, we decided we must do this again, after some practice.

I close with a Psalm I absolutely love—Psalm 100. “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Verse for the Day

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

Sunday, September 30, 2007

George Washington--Visiting Mount Vernon

George Washington was a man of outstanding character. Many things are accredited to him, with one of the extremely famous ones being when he was able to give up power. Because of his exceptional character and wisdom during the French Indian War, he emerged as a leader in the eyes of the colonists. He was trusted by everyone because of his amazing integrity and the people were ready to make him king, yet he would have no part of that. He was one of the few people in all history humble enough to give up the power offered to him. Multiple times George Washington was able to witness God’s providential hand. Miraculously, in the battle of Monongahela during the French Indian War, Washington, who had two horses shot from under him and bullet holes throughout his coat, nevertheless escaped unharmed. He credited this, as well as many other things, to God’s providential hand. Although many historians try to make him out to be a Deist, his very own writings prove otherwise. Because of his extraordinary character, leadership, and integrity, it’s no wonder he was unanimously elected president in 1789.

It was incredible to be able to see this man’s home, property, and the museum dedicated to him. Mount Vernon is a 5,000 square foot home, and is as beautiful on the inside as the outside. This mansion had 9 furnished bedrooms! George Washington was known for loving agriculture, which is displayed in the massive farm, gardens and storerooms he owned. He was the only person to ever own an eight sided barn, in which he had his horses tread wheat. The back of his house overlooked the beautiful Potomac River. In season, it was known that he could catch 1.5 million herring, in 6 weeks! Around the house there were servants’ quarters, a laundry house, cooking house, carriage house, as well as others. The property around the house is stunning! In addition, the museum had on display items such as George Washington’s Bible, his wife Martha’s Bible, one of her gowns, and more. Included were wax figures of Washington, giving a picture of what he probably looked like at different ages of his life. The thing however, that stood out most of all, was the fact that he had great character. His courage, nobility, meekness, humility, integrity, trustworthiness, and other credible characteristics should always be remembered. As George Washington himself put it, “Good moral character is the first essential in a man.

The door handle of Washington's home (isn't it small?)
The Potomac River
George Washington's Bible

One of Martha Washington's gowns

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Washington D.C. & Colonial Williamsburg

My family went on a splendid trip to the Williamsburg area. I have, as well as my brother Luke, made posts about it on 4 homeschoolers. I thought I would make a special picture post with a few of the pictures from Washington, D.C. and Colonial Williamsburg. Here they are!

Shops in Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial House
Middle of Town
Militia Fife and Drum
Militia Drums
The Capitol
Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument

Siblings in front of the nation's Capitol
Distant Washington Monument

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Imitating Christ's Humility

Serving should be a characteristic of every believer. However, teenagers especially need to be encouraged to use their time wisely, and serving is one way of doing that. Here is a definition that I think is appropriate—

Humility: Recognizing that God and others are actually responsible for the achievements in my life.

“Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility.” –quoted from The MacArthur Bible Commentary.

Philippians 2:5-8 says this, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

These verses give a beautiful picture of Christ’s selflessness. But wait; there’s even more to those verses! It continues in verses 9-11, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” You can see here the blessings Christ received for humbling obeying the Father. The Scripture also says in Matthew 20:28 that The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Wow! So if Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, demonstrated humility, shouldn’t we? “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' ” 1 Peter 5:5

Serving could be connected to numerous other virtues. In order to serve, you must love, first God and then others. Also, you must be humble and meek. You must be joyful in the tasks you are given and choose to do. These and others are all, in someway, connected to serving. Of course, the only example we need is Christ, as displayed in these verses: “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. "You call me ‘Teacher’ and 'Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17 (emphasis added)

So here’s what I think teenagers need to do: 1) conduct themselves in godly manner, imitating Christ’s example so that younger ones may find nothing bad to imitate in them; and 2) live lives of humble servant hood. Serve one another in love” Galatians 5:13

Here is a poem taken from Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot,that rightly fits in with the subject of serving.

Do all the good you can,
By all means you can,

In all ways you can,
In all the places you can,
To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tea Party Wisdom


My mom has collected each letter I received from my birthday tea in a beautiful scrapbook. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the ladies’ letters:

“Time and experience will bring you wisdom; neither will teach you everything you need to know. Use your bible to find answers to your most difficult questions. Some require more search than others but the answers are always there!”

“We are to be led by the Spirit and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love perseverance and gentleness. We are to flee from sin. We are to set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

“If we aren’t trusting totally in the Lord that he’s got everything under control, how then are we going to be good wives, mothers, etc? If you will just continue to trust in the Lord now while you are still young, I think it will be of the utmost benefit to you. I also feel that trusting in the Lord brings us the peace that passes all understanding.”

“The seeds that you plant today will be the harvest of your tomorrows. So plant seeds of purity, love, honesty, modesty, faithfulness, steadfastness, and knowledge. Most of all, seek humility. With a humble heart serve others. Always speak with humility. It is with a humble heart you are most like your Lord, who humbled himself for your sake.”

“Protecting the heart includes the protecting of your mind, they go hand in hand. Where your thought life goes, you heart will follow and likewise where you heart leads so your thoughts will follow. Be mindful of the meditations of your heart. In Psalm 19:14 David says: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. The thoughts and emotions of a woman are strong and deep. It is crucial to guard your heart and mind against vain imaginations.”

“You are the Creator’s beautiful work of art (Psalm 139:13-14). You are to take care of His masterpiece as you grow and mature through each physical stage of life. However, it is not the beauty of your outward appearance that needs cultivating. It is your inner self. The Lord has given us instructions in the Scripture to guide us through every facet of life; beauty is no exception. The Lord clearly defines what makes a woman beautiful to Him. It is the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3-5). The unfading inner beauty mentioned here stands in sharp contrast to the fleeting external beauty mentioned in Proverbs 31. For the same reason that we don’t want to store up for ourselves treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19), we also don’t want to focus all of our time and energy on temporary beauty; these things should be invested in the development of godly character.”

In addition, here is a little summary of what my mom said: One of the things she spoke on was the importance of submission. As females, we are to be in submission, whether as a daughter or a wife. This is God’s designated role, and an imperative one, as it affects how the husband/father leads. We are to also be adorning ourselves with godly virtues. My mother said it this way, “Don’t be content with outward virtue, one that looks good to others. Be ruthless with your heart, you motives and your thoughts. Let your virtue truly flow from the heart and a sincere love for the Lord.” In order to be able to adorn ourselves with godly virtues, we must have a genuine, vital relationship with God. This is an eternal thing, something that must be of great significance and value.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

15th Birthday Tea


For the occasion of my 15th birthday, we had special, memorable event. We had a mother-daughter tea, celebrating the virtues of godly womanhood. To prepare for the tea, my mom, my sister and I made place cards, bookmarks and soap. We also got a crash course in flower arranging from a friend at church. It was fun transforming our schoolroom into a beautiful tearoom!

Many of the women in our church, as well as some family friends, wrote letters explaining what being a godly woman means, as well as encouraging me to develop these virtues. I'll share some of their wisdom later on my blog. The women that were there to participate in the tea read their letters aloud. Some gave gifts reflective of their letters, while others gave things for me to keep in my hope chest. I have an exceptionally special hope chest because my grandfather made it, and it contains wood from the old family barn.

Here is an idea of how it went:
After the guests arrived, we ate some of the tea food and (some) drank hot tea. After a little while of visiting, the ladies began reading their letters, and giving their wisdom. Then we ate the teapot cake my family made. It turned out really cute!

The Tea Pot Cake!




Friday, August 17, 2007

More on Trusting God

I wrote how God worked through me teaching me to trust Him, but as surprising as it may be, there’s even more to that story. God did so many different things in the midst of that, and it’s just so amazing what a great God He is. After praying for a friend for over a year, I started to wonder whether God was really going to bless me with a friend, and if that was His plan. Although asking for a friend stayed in my prayers, it was not as important. My relationship with my parents however, seemed to grow stronger and deepen during those years. I also became closer to my siblings. All in all, God knew it was best for me.

So what did I do during these years, if I had no close friend to hang out with and spend time with? Well, I began learning different things that would be beneficial to me later in life. I read my Bible, and worked through devotionals and other good books. I began to bake more, and work on becoming a good cook. Also around that time, my mom had my youngest brother, and I learned how to care for babies. I took a Safe Sitter class, preparing to be a babysitter. I read a lot of books that encouraged and blessed me. I started reading the Keepers at Home book, and trying to learn and complete some of the stuff in there. For that, I learned how to iron. Ironing was a great thing for me to learn because eventually I was able to take the place of mom in ironing the clothes for Sunday, freeing her to do other things. Now my sister has taken my job of ironing so she can learn how and practice doing it. Additionally, I tried to start what I called a Saturday Bible Club, where I would do stuff with some of the neighborhood girls. I would come up with Scripture, games, and encouraging articles that I thought would be great for them It was a good experience for me, and I had to dig into God’s Word and read things to plan for it. I had fun while it lasted. Stamping cards was another thing I started up, and I wrote many letters and cards to pen pals.

The Scripture I memorized during these times has stuck with me. Whenever I don’t understand something and just start to ask God “why?”. He has the same answer for me. He turns me to the book of Isaiah, “My ways are not your ways”. How true that is! There have been different situations other than moving where that verse has been applicable. My story is just a testimony to the greatness of God and how His ways are always perfect and right.

Trusting God

One thing God has taught me the last few years is to completely, without doubt, trust Him. As easy as it sounds, it is often a hard thing to do! I was first met with the decision to trust Him or not when Dad said we were going to be leaving our church in Arkansas and most likely moving out of state. Although I did not have a single friend my age, we did have some family friends that I didn’t want to leave. In the difficult midst of moving, I struggled with God over having us move. However, God knows best. Trusting completely in God is one way He has worked in me the past few years, while we’ve moved multiple times. Once we had moved to Houston, Texas to begin a family integrated church, my Dad being the pastor, I was excited. Being a part of the family integrated church movement was a great thing for my family. It was what we believed all along and I had like-minded friends my age. Soon though, we realized we would need to relocate to a different part of Houston. It turned out that there was a group of about 10 families that needed a pastor about an hour away from where we lived. Dad met with them and we started the church that January. Once again, I was met with the decision to trust God or not. I was led to the verse again and again in Isaiah 55 that says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” God had to really work through me to get me to trust HIM. I wanted to tell HIM what I thought we should do; in fact, I really didn’t want to move to this new city to be with new people. I was fine where we were! Just as in the former move, I had to cry out to God, seeking Him and letting go of my will, submitting to Him and trusting Him. One of the verses I learned before the first move was Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge HIM, and he will make your paths straight.” I guess I had not completely surrendered to God and trusted Him, so he had to take me through another similar circumstance. Now, I can’t believe my previous actions. I am truly blessed by my church family and can’t imagine leaving! God is SO good, and even though it’s sometimes hard to trust Him, know that He is good, and His ways are always best.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Poem for Older Sisters

Here is a poem I ran across that a friend of mine had. I thought it was great for older sisters; it reminds them that they do influence their younger sisters (or brothers for that matter) for good or for bad.

A Little Sister Follows Me
author unknown

A careful girl I want to be;
A little sister follows me.
I do not dare to go astray
For fear she’ll go the selfsame way.
I cannot once escape her eyes;
Whate’er she sees me do, she tries;
Like me she says she’s going to be—
That little sister following me.
She thinks that I am good and fine;
Believes in every word of mine.
The bad in me she must not see—
That little sister following me.
I must remember as I go,
Through summer’s sun and winter’s snow,
I’m building for the years to be
That little sister following me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Honoring Your Parents

taken from "A Young Woman After God's Own Heart"
by Elizabeth George
Yes, but how?
1. Your attitude- Where is your attitude born, cultivated and maintained? In your quiet time, as God’s Word fills your heart and sets your direction for your day…as you pray! Purpose to …
· Seek the Lord’s help daily through His Word and prayer
· Seek an “I’m #3 attitude (with your father as #1 and mother #2)
· Seek to put away self-ishness and put on self-lessness.

2. Your Room- Go the extra mile to have a cheerful heart while cleaning your room or doing whatever your parents need you to do.

3. Your Cooperation- your willingness and cooperation will affect the family. Give your all.

4. Your Help- Constantly be asking “How can I help?”. The Bible says “Two are better than one”. So offer your help!

5. Your prayers- Pray for yourself and your family. Pray God will soften your heart and change your attitude. Ask Him to help you submit, honor and respect them.

6. Your submission- I need to learn to submit to my parents in everything, cultivating a happy, obedient heart. How I submit to my dad will be how I submit to my husband.

7. Your Truthfulness- Always tell the truth!

8. Your Giving- Learn to be a giver. Ask God in your heart, “What can I give?” in every situation.

I read this book and took notes throughout about a year ago. I encourage each young woman to read it. Although there is a little in the end about dating, the rest is great. Also, here is a wonderful poem I found in that same book that goes along well:

Good, better, best,
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better best.

Lists like this I think are great as "check ups", to see where your heart is and where it needs to be. How are you honoring your parents? How are you serving?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Courtship?!? Why?

If you're a homeschooler like I am, you've probably received the popular question, “Why aren’t you going to date/why don’t you date?” In response, I’d like to give some of my perspective on this issue.

First of all, many people haven’t ever heard of courtship. When you tell them you aren’t planning on dating, the first thing they think is, “How are you ever going to get married?!” So let me give a little insight into courtship. Courtship is designed with the thought that marriage is permanent, and so to find an appropriate mate requires discernment, with the guidance of parents. In courtship, you do not have a romantic relationship, but rather one with a high standard, godly and honorable.

There are many ways to “do” courtship, but there are a couple basic principles and stages. The first stage is, obviously, friendship. If a young man thinks a certain woman could be his future bride, he then discusses it with his parents and prays. If his parents agree and are at peace with it, he will get the father’s permission, concluding that marriage will be probable. One difference between dating and courtship is the father is involved in courtship. In most dating scenarios, it is boy and girl alone. Most of dating has to do with useless infatuations and “this person likes this person this week”. There is no long term commitment, especially if the participants are not ready for marriage! Back to courtship, in an ideal courtship situation, the families will have already known each other for a while, and perhaps go to the same church. With this, the father would have a pretty good idea of what the man’s beliefs are, his character, and his relationship with his parents and siblings. Usually the father will have questions to ask the young man about theology and doctrine, his life goals, and other things. For instance, if the man was planning on being a missionary in another country and the woman he wants to court doesn’t want to leave the state, there would be a problem. After a period of months of examination and determining God’s will, and both agree that it is God’s will for their lives, they decide to marry. This is called the engagement/betrothal stage.

These are my thoughts on courtship. Of course, each and every courtship is unique. There will be differences in every courtship story you hear. I personally have not reached the age to court, so what I know is what we’ve learned and what my family thinks will work. In conclusion, I would like to add a section from a book I highly recommend. It is called, So Much More, by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin.

How should a girl relate to young men? The Botkin girls respond, “When in the presence of young men, we should act as though our husbands might be in the room watching us. We should pray that no young men ever rob us of feelings we are saving for our husbands, and in the same way, we must not defraud other young men of what belongs to their wives, because God has chosen wives for them, too. It is almost as though they are already married, and this fact should affect the way we treat them, so that they will think of us “as sisters, with all purity” (2 Timothy 5:2).

John W. Thompson explains his views why dating makes this difficult: Dating, even Christian dating, generally results in a series of emotional attachment or bonds with different dating partners. To express this language of romance, a young woman gives a piece of her heart to a young man when she becomes emotionally involved with him. By the time she meets the man she will marry, she will have only a fragment of her heart left to give. Even without going out on a date, a young woman can give pieces of her heart to several young men during her youth, so that by the time she marries, she is no longer a one-man woman (1 Tim. 5:9) Yet Paul’s analogy of Christ and the church in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 explains that a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, not just physically but emotionally too. The goal is not just physical purity but emotional purity--only one romance for life!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Here are some verses I read in my Quiet Time this morning that I thought I’d share: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

The verse that talks about strict training has to do with self-control. Self-control, or discipline, is crucial to victory. Without it, the runners could not endure the race.

“Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Isn’t that a neat verse? We should be pressing towards the goal, forgetting what is behind, and straining towards what is ahead, as it says in Philippians 3:13-14. What is the goal? Christlikeness! We should be continually becoming more like Christ. Of course, this can only happen through our diligence in studying His Word, praying and having a relationship with Him, and obediently following His commands.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Doctrine of Biblical Genders

I can’t think of much to write now, so I thought I would post an essay I wrote in school this past year. You can probably determine my worldview from it. :) My Mom never checked/edited it, so there may be some things that don’t make sense. If so, you can inform me...
I will probably add things like this, and things I’ve read from other people, to my blog. I enjoy them, and others might too!



THE DOCTRINE OF BIBLICAL GENDERS ~by Allison

When asked to define the equality of men and women, Egalitarianism would say- “Men and women are equal in all aspects. There’s no real difference between them”. Complementarianism would say- “Males and females are equal before God. But they both have distinct gifts, natures, and roles”. The roles of men and women are a big deal in our culture today. Many women have bought into the lies of feminism, wanting to do everything themselves, including taking on jobs. Generally, we have lost what the biblical roles of males and females are.

The Bible says that men and women are created equal, and in the image of God. But where do we draw the line when we say “equal”? God ordained the unique roles of men and women differently, with a purpose and plan in mind. For instance, a woman is to be submissive to her husband. Jesus best demonstrates this as he perfectly submits to the Father.

God created the roles of male and females. Egalitarians argue that the Bible’s teachings were cultural. They try to explain away 1 Timothy 2, which says women can not teach over men, by saying that the women in that century were not well educated, so they could not teach over men. However, Paul firmly states that his rules are directly based on the word of God. (1 Corinthians 14:33-38) He prohibits women from teaching over men because of the created order.

So what are the biblical roles of men and women? Ephesians 5:22-23 says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Titus 2:3-5 says, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” 1 Peter 3:7 states, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” 1 Timothy 2:-15 also says, “A woman should learn quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing- if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

The biblical view of life, as well as male and female roles is counter-cultural. Choosing God’s way will be a model to all around you. People will notice you are different. Philippians 2:15 tells us not to argue and complain so we can “become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you will shine like stars in the universe.” If your roles are biblical, you will shine like stars, and glorify God.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My First Posting

Hello everyone!
This is my very first posting on my blog “Letter from Christ”, and I’m excited! After studying and preparation, I think I’ve finally figured this out and am ready. As the oldest of five, a lot of my postings will have to do with my family. I would also like this blog to be an encouragement to every reader. For every believer is a Letter from Christ. I picked this name because I pray God will use me through this blog; that I would represent Him in a way that gives Him all the glory. I pray you will be blessed by this blog too, and that you would find nothing that is dishonoring to God. To Him be the glory forever!