Monday, June 22, 2009

The Power of the "Delete" Button

I’m generally not a saver, of material stuff or electronically. If I don’t need it, I get rid of it. Sometimes I’m a little too hasty, because I’ll get rid of something only to wish I hadn’t. Some of my friends know that I’ve deleted things on my computer with the intention to “save space”, without realizing that I deleted something important.

Well, it happened again.

You see, I like to write down my thoughts for blog posts, even if they are never developed or published. On my computer desktop I have multiple folders, one titled “Blog Stuff” (which reveals my lack of creativity). Here I would type post ideas, posts I’m working on/thinking through, and sometimes I would just write, with the intention of developing something later. I had many, many documents, some written many months ago that I didn’t post, others started that I didn’t develop enough, and others that I was working on with the intention of posting them in the next few weeks.

Well my dear readers, all my plans for posting have changed, for I accidentally deleted my blog folder. Gone. Vanished. All my work never to be seen again. It’s a long story, and I’m still not positive how it happened! I was very dismayed because I can’t retrieve all the time and work I put into those blog posts. Unfortunately I haven’t backed up my computer in over a year, so the documents backed up are very old.

But don’t think I’m telling you this to pity me, no, the reason I’m informing you of this is so that you can understand if my posts are scattered few and far between. Because of this “dilemma”, I may not be so quick to rewrite all the things I had before; in fact, many will probably be forgotten forever. I had fully intended to post at least once a week this summer, but because of this, it will largely depend on how much time I have. I do hope that I can still manage a post per week, but we shall see how all goes.

So here’s a reminder for you…backup your computer! In fact, I might be good to go do it now if you haven’t done it in a while. Especially if you have important things like schoolwork and such, for losing it would be disastrous.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Courtship thoughts

Last night while we had a group of friends over we had a discussion on the topic of courtship, so I thought I would add to my previous post with some more thoughts on this subject.

My dad defines courtship as: the process by which a couple seeks to determine their readiness for marriage and seeks to discern God’s will for a covenant marriage that will be God honoring.

An important distinction in courtship from dating is that courtship is for those who are ready for marriage. It is not a romantic thrill-ride or for someone who simply desires a relationship, but for a man and a woman who desire to honor the Lord by exhibiting a godly relationship without emotional attachments before they make a lifelong commitment. In this way you experience the great blessing of saving all feelings and expressions of feelings until you are married.

There are also many different ways that families choose to court, and that must be determined by each family. I believe however, that the general vision is that instead of just getting married to be married that we actively prepare for marriage now and when God brings us the right person we commit to them permanently. Remember, the person you choose to marry is who you will live with the rest of your life, so you don’t want to make a wrong decision that could be avoided!

So what are the requirements of courtship? Mr. Bill Gothard explains that you must have:
• A life purpose bigger than marriage
• A “one-man, one-woman” commitment
• A restraint of affection
• A loyalty to parents
• An ability to deal with infatuations
• A readiness for marriage responsibilities

Girls, one thing you must understand is that you must marry a man who you can joyfully submit to and follow his vision. So what is your vision for life? What do you sense the Lord wants for your life? Begin to think and pray through these questions even now. In marriage you (as girls) are to complete your husband and help him further his vision in greater ways than he could do alone, ultimately bringing all glory to God.

As an end note, I must clarify that while I highly esteem courtship as the biblical process before you marry, I do not declare it to be a perfect process in any way. In our world of sin there is nothing perfect. You cannot trust that because you choose the process of courtship that you will have a great marriage or a wonderful spouse. But I believe courtship is the best decision because the parents are actively involved in determining whether the two of you are compatible in crucial areas so that your marriage can be to the glory of God alone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Representative of Christ

When you see someone with a Christian t-shirt but who is (in your opinion) not acting in a God-honoring way, what do you think? Do you think of how they are poorly representing Christ? It’s easy to do that, because many people claim to be Christians yet do not glorify and honor Christ accurately in their speech and actions. But instead of looking at others, let’s search our own hearts…

What do you think people’s first impressions of you are?

When someone who has never seen you before notices you—in a store, playing in your yard, taking a walk, or anything else, what do you think their first impressions are? Do you think it’s clear that you’re different? Does the love and joy of Jesus clearly shine through you?

This came to my mind this weekend as my family and some families from our church attended a homeschool conference and wore matching shirts with our church logo. Of course, since we all matched and a handful of us were seen walking around often, my thoughts were directed to the question, “What kind of impression am I giving for our church when people see me?” But even more importantly, my thoughts were turned to the question, “Am I properly representing Christ in everything I do?”

The purpose is not to give people a good impression so they think you’re such a great person. On the contrary, anything “good” seen in you should be to the glory of God the Father and all praise and honor should be directed to Him. But if we want others to see the difference Christ has made in our lives and want to make an impact, we have to be on guard to not do things to disrepute the name of Christ!

So let me leave you with a question and a couple Scripture verses…
Are you actively making sure you are representing Christ in an honorable way?

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” 2 Cor. 2:15

“You yourselves are our letter…to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ… written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” 2 Cor. 3:2-5

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recent Happenings...

School is officially over for us, so especially because I don’t presently have any more CLEP tests to study for, I have some time to write a post!

May was quite a busy month, partially because Luke and I had two hard CLEP tests to take, and partially because May always ends up being a busy month! You probably remember my mention of a post on 4 Homeschoolers that I directed you towards. The one on failure. After failing two CLEPs in a row, I took my own advice and began to try harder and work diligently so I would be more prepared for my upcoming tests.

I can’t attest to my great knowledge or wonderful test taking skills, but rather to my amazing God and the power of prayer. Right now my heart is just overflowing with joy and gratitude for God’s goodness which I am so undeserving of. Luke and I both passed the Government and Biology test, which are generally known as harder tests. Because of my mom’s diligent work with us, her encouraging us to persevere and work hard and the many, many people who prayed for us while we tested, God heard and gave us the grace to pass! To God be the glory!

Saturday we took the Biology CLEP, which is why my last post informed you that I wouldn’t have time to post in the upcoming week. The reason being of course, because we were quite busy studying!

The day before we took Biology the Lord brought the verses in Philippians 4:6-7 to mind:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Whenever I would begin to become anxious before or during my test, I would pray and the peace I had during my test was clearly not from me!

So let me encourage you that whatever you are facing is not bigger than the mighty God we serve. If you feel anxious or worried, lay those anxieties at the feet of the Father and ask Him for His peace. God wants to use any trial or blessing you are given to turn you to Him and bring you to complete dependence and reliance on Him.