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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Imagine That

Okay, I'm officially not a Blake fan. And who is Blake you may say? He's on American Idol (I know, I know, the obsession with the show is insane.) On last night's show, the performers were to choose songs of hope to go along with their "Idol Gives Back" campaign, a huge effort from the show to raise millions of dollars to feed the hungry around the world (which is a pretty decent thing to do I think considering they've probably made millions and millions on top of millions off of the show!)
Anyway Blake chose the song "Imagine" by John Lennon. Now, I'm sure that there are Beatles fans out there among you. I've been known to listen to a few of their songs here and there myself. But I HATE the song "Imagine" because it is totally and completely against everything I believe. I mean just look at these lyrics:

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no heaven? What kind of hope is there in a life where this world is all you have?
And sure, the thought of hell is awful. I hate to think of the fact that people go there, but the truth is that hell is a literal place. No amount of imagining can change that. And the sad thing is that many people buy into the lie and live their lives imagining that there is nothing after this life only to find that hell is real. There is definitely no hope in telling people to imagine there's no hell below us.
And the last two lines. Talk about no hope. I don't know about you, but I think the problem with this world is that everyone is "living for today." Think back to last week. A deranged shooter terrorizing the campus of Virginia Tech. I don't know about you, but his sort of "living for today" doesn't appeal to me. There are tons of people out there who hold no regard for others. They simply live their lives how they see fit, and the result is chaos. Complete and utter chaos.
The song goes on telling us to imagine there's no hunger or war or killing. And yes, that would be a great way to live. The thought of the children dying all over the world from hunger troubles me. The thought of soldiers being killed daily is terrible. And the thought of a young man running through a college campus killing people at random troubles me greatly. But the answer to all of these problems is not to imagine there is no God. It is to trust completely in Him.
The way to have peace is to know the giver of peace. Jesus said this in John 14:27:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Jesus gives peace that the world can't give. In other words, He gives peace to go through the hard times in this world, and as I said yesterday, He gives us the hope to know that this world is not our final home.
So when I'm imagining, I don't just sit back and try to ignore all the things in this world and imagine them away. I imagine a real place. I imagine my heavenly home. I'll leave you with the words to the song "I Can Only Imagine." Now this is something worth imagining about!

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus?
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence?
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you
I can only imagine.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

Have you ever gotten that anxious feeling on the last day of vacation. I mean the trip has been great, but all you really want to do is go home. You want your own bed, your own sheets, your own couch, your own normal schedule. There's just something about going home.
I felt this way last Friday. I was in Mexico again for work last week. It was a great trip. I learned a lot and accomplished a lot. But by Friday the only thing I wanted to do was hop on the plane and get to Greensboro. I wanted to see my mom and my dad. My sister, my niece, and my nephew.
But thinking about how much I miss my earthly home when I'm away makes me think of how much I really miss my heavenly home. No, I've never seen it, but I know it's prepared for me. I know that this earth is not where I'll be eternally.
And just like there were people anxious to see me arrive here on Friday, there is a Savior who is anxious to see me there in heaven. He's prepared a place for me, and He made it possible for me to go there!
With all the things happening around me in this world, I long more and more for heaven everyday. From depressing news of shootings and wars to my own daily failures.
I'm just glad that someday (hopefully very soon) I'll be home for eternity! Are you going there too?

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Wise Man Builds His House Upon THE Rock

The other night I received a call that made me realize that I'm getting older. No, not old, just older! It was a call from my brother informing me that he had just purchased a home. My baby brother, buying a house. And the only thing I could think of was there's no way he's old enough for this. But he is. And in September he'll be getting married. Life flies by.
The thing is that we all make huge steps in our lives. Some we make when others don't really think we're ready. Some we're afraid to take because we ourselves don't feel ready.
The important thing is that we make every step with Christ. He is our rock in every situation. He should be the foundation of every decision we make. Otherwise, when hard times come, we WILL NOT STAND.
Check out this passage from Matthew 7:

" 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

My brother and I used to sing a song when we were but youngsters. It went like this:
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
and the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
and the house on the rock stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
and the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the sand went SPLAT!!

We'd always shout that last word and laugh. The part where the house went splat was the best part. But in real life, the part where the house goes splat is the saddest part. Because it pictures a life that doesn't have Christ, and without Christ, we can't weather the storms of life.
That's a lesson that I'm really glad my parents have taught me. A lesson they've instilled in me since I was a little girl laughing with my brother about a house that went splat! And even though it is hard to think of that baby brother growing up, I am happy for him. And I hope that he will always live a wise life built upon the rock, just like our parents taught us. And I pray the same for each of you!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

A Little Thought and a Prayer Request

I know, I know, I'm getting really slack about keeping my blog updated. Things around here have been a bit hectic! And they will continue on that way through the summer, but I haven't forgotten you blogging buddies! Have no fear of that!!
I have a conference call in exactly 29 minutes, so today I'm just going to share a little thought!

Hebrews 1:3, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:"

This verse is so awesome. I mean especially since we just celebrated Easter where we focused on Christ's death and ressurrection. After all that He did, He sat down at the right hand of His Father. Why could He sit down? Because His work was completed. As He said on the cross, it was finished. The price for our sins was paid. There will never need to be another sacrafice to cover our sins!
The rest is up to us. We must trust in the sacrafice He made. We must be willing to ask for His blood to cover our sins. He paid the price, but we must accept it!
Honestly, I don't know why anyone would reject it. It's a free gift offered to all. However so many reject Christ everyday. If not with their words, with their actions.
I know someone right now who is doing this very thing. He says he has a great relationship with God, that he reads his Bible everyday. Yet the world has such a strong hold on his life. And that stronghold is drugs. Pills of all kinds. His mom called me last night, and I felt such pain for her because she is literally at the end of herself. And she knows that the only ONE who can change him is God. Because he is unwilling to see that he has a problem.
So if all you blogging prayer warriors would be willing, I ask that you would lift this man up in your prayers. Pray for his parents as they seek wisdom. And pray most of all that he would realize that a relationship with God is so much more than reading a few verses everyday, that it is allowing the living Word of God to radically change your life!


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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

In Other Words

“At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worst and met its match.”
~ John Wenham ~
This quote really hits me this week. It seems that every way I turn, I'm learning something about identifying with the sufferings of Christ. Just yesterday I posted this verse from Philippians 3:10:
"10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
This past Friday night I was at Bible study. One of my objectives in going was actually to stay awake because I had just flown in from Mexico, and I knew that if I went home I would just crash. But I wanted to try to get back on my normal schedule. So I went to Bible study for that reason.
God however had a different reason for me to go. He had something that He wanted me to hear. Something He needed to get through my thick skull. Something that Paul wrote about many years ago.
In this verse Paul talks about walking in the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. Now to fellowship with someone means to take an ACTIVE part in whatever they are doing. If we are to fellowship in Christ's sufferings, it means that we WILL suffer. Evil will try to throw its worst at us, just like it threw its worst at Christ. The thing is that we KNOW we already have the victory.
Because, as Paul stated in the beginning of this verse, we KNOW the power of Christ's resurrection. No matter what evil tries to throw at us, we have already won. Christ DEFEATED evil when He rose from the grave. And through His victory, He gave us power to overcome it as well.
So if you are in a time of suffering, don't give up. You HAVE the victory. Just hold on to Christ, and He will see you through!
Thanks, Iris for hosting this today and for making me think about this wonderful quote!


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Monday, April 02, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

Well, in all her sweetness, GiBee has blessed me with the "Thinking Blogger Award." An honor I was totally shocked to receive especially during a week where my brain feels like total mush! Seriously though, thanks GiBee! And though I don't think the me-me works in a way where you can give the award back to the person who gave it to you, I must say that you have made me think a lot as well, so thanks for that!!
Now for how this works, the participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

So here are a few of the people that have made me think:

1. Diane from Partners in Prayer for Our Prodigals. If you've never read her blog, go, read, be inspired. Seriously, this woman has taken a time of trial in her life and turned it into something that God is using greatly. Honestly, you must go check out her site if you haven't already!
2. Sista Cala at Timeless Text Messages. This lady KNOWS the Word. She inspires me to dig deeper everyday! Check her out!
3. AmyDeanne at the 160 Acre Woods. This lady really inspires me because she puts the focus on God in EVERY area of her life, and she's training her children (soon to be 4 under the age of 5) to do the same. A definite MUST-SEE!
4. Christy from Thoughts from a Brunette Brain. Now I know this may sound prejudiced since she's my cousin and all. But she really does make me think. She has a way of taking the BLEH moments of life and using them to learn lessons that God wants her to hear. Really inspiring. Check her blog out!
5. Iris at Ephesians 28:10. This lady inspires me constantly to hold fast to my beliefs and to keep trusting in God! If you haven't already, check out her blog!

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I'm Baa-aaack!

Okay, so I'm a bad blogger. I totally abandoned my blog for a week and gave no warning whatsoever. I had intentions to tell all you wonderful bloggity folks that I would be spending last week in Mexico for work, and that I was unsure if I'd be able to blog, but then I got busy with packing, and washing clothes, and re-packing, and taking things out of the suitcase, and putting them back, and well, you get the picture. Anyway, I'm back in the states for a few weeks, and I promise to try to be a better blogger!
I promise to post longer, more meaningful posts at some point this week (after I dig my way out from under this pile of work on my desk.) But for now I'll leave you with this verse:

Philippians 3:10, "10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"