Friday, March 27, 2009

Again I Say Rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Just finished listening to Francis Chan's most recent message, Living With Joy. Once again, he kicked me in the head.

He pointed out that Philippians 4:4 is a command. And because it's a command, it makes it a sin not to do it.


I've never looked at it that way. Notice that it says always. I'm no Bible scholar, but I think that means always, all the time, without ceasing, in all circumstances, in everything you do, in everything that is done to you, in good times, in bad times, while celebrating, while mourning, always.

I don't do that. I rejoice when I remember I should. Or when I read Philippians 4. Or when things are going really good. I have to remind myself often that rejoicing has nothing to do with how I feel or my circumstances. I know that. I just don't put it into practice. I'm not sure I know how.

As I fall on my face once again before my God, I am reminded of His loving mercy, that's new every morning. As he picks me up and wipes my tears, I know I can truly rejoice in Him. Another reminder that this life I lead is not about me. It never was. It never will be.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Narrow Gate

I've been reading through the book of Matthew as part of Pete Wilson's 28 Day Challenge, which was spurred on by his series, Backseat Jesus. I extended the challenge to my on-line life group and one of my highlights each day is reading everyone's thoughts on that day's chapter.

Today's reading was Matthew 7. While the chapter is full of rich delicious goodness, one section jumped out at me in a new way.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road the leads to life, and only a few find it.
Now this isn't really new revelation, but it occurred to me that the road is so narrow that there is only room for one person to walk it at a time. I can't take anyone with me, nor can I go with another. I can't take anything with me, because there would not be enough room for me and my stuff, not only on the road but crossing through the narrow gate.

I'm not saying that we don't need each other. WE DO! I love being able to go along this journey with other people - learning from, loving and encouraging each other along the way. In fact, I wouldn't be as far along on the road as I am were it not for other believers. But in the end, the journey is personal, between me and my Savior, and no one can get me to the gate, and no one can keep me from getting there... except me.

World Water Day

In 1992, the United Nations designated March 22nd as World Water Day. They wanted to highlight and raise awareness about the global water and sanitation crisis affecting the planet.


One billion people on the planet don't have access to clean, safe drinking water. 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation, specifically a toilet.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Survived Week One

A week ago I started this. It's been easier than I thought it would be. I usually drink a lot of Diet Coke. Giving it up hasn't been that hard and praise God I didn't have any headaches. I have been getting tired in the afternoon, I'm sure because I'm used to the caffeine.

The thing I have noticed though, is I miss flavor. I find myself looking for something to snack on because I want to taste something. Water doesn't really taste like anything. I have to keep reminding myself that some drink water that does have a flavor, and not a pleasant one.

I know this struggle will get better and by the end of the 40 days water will be a natural beverage for me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Story Time with Claire

Earlier this week, a friend of mine, Claire, was sick. Really sick. Go home and lay in bed for 30-some hours sick. I'm sure it was awful for her. We met here. She lives here. Because of the 5 hour time difference, we don't talk often, but it's a lot of fun when we get to chat through Facebook.

So after she had been in bed for like 34 hours, she was feeling better and was not sleepy so we had a nice chat. Near the end of our conversation, it was like 3 AM for her and she was not tired, but knew she should get some rest. I'm not sure who suggested it first, but we decided I should tell her a story. The following is the result. Enjoy.

Once upon a time...
...there was a beautiful princess named Claire...
(claire:thats my name)
(me:yes it is..)
She lived with her dog named ...???
He was her greatest companion.

One day, they were out taking a run and stopped to smell the flowers in the park.
(claire:I love flowers)

While they were there, a young man saw the princess and immediately fell in love.

...but there was a problem
(claire:what ?)
he didn't like dogs.

(claire:thats sad)

(claire: :(:( )
So she left him behind and went on her way.
The next day, she and Charlie went to the beach.
They spent the day running and playing in the water...
(claire:hope it was sunny)
...and getting some sun.
(me:it was)
Another young man saw her and immediately fell in love.
(me:she was very beautiful... did I mention that?)


(claire: :):)

He asked if he could buy her a cup of tea. She agreed.

They talked for hours until she realized the time and had to get home.

(claire: :(:(

the royal ball was approaching and she had to get ready.

At the ball... everything was perfect...

....the music. There was dancing
and charlie was even there joining in the fun.

THEN... the young man from the beach walked in...

He asked her to dance.
They danced all night...

...and talked

   ...and walked

      ...and held hands

         ...and fell in love
They wanted to get married,
so her father gave them his blessing.

She was so very happy
and charlie had a great time with his family.

And they lived happily ever after.

The End

(claire: :):)

(claire:thats a lovely story)

(note: my fingers were on the wrong keys)

(note: this is what I tried to type before)

(claire:Publish it)


(claire:put it on your blogg)


(me:that would be funny)

(claire:thanks that story was fab)

(claire:do you want me to tell you one now?)
(me:oh yes! that would be lovely!)
(note: I'm not sure exactly how those last two went, but you get the idea)

Once upon a time there was an amazing lady called Karen
who worked very hard.
(me:that's my name)
And she was a very very nice lady.
(claire:its your name yep)
One day she was walking through the park
...past the trees
   ...near the lake

And she saw a beautiful white unicorn
(claire:now we know these are pretend
but for the purposes of the story they are real OK.
the unicorn could talk and everything)
The one thing the unicorn could do was encourage people.
And the unicorn reminded Karen that she was amazing
and that she had a lot of talents
and she had so much to give...

...which was nice.

Anyway the unicorn run off into the hills
and Karen sat pondering ...

And all of a sudden

out of no where
(me:ooh... i like this...)
came a little dog.....

...with a patch on his eye

And a journal under its arm...

(note: this should be explained.
i shared with claire how i've never
been good at journaling.
See, she's funny)


Came a little dog.....with a little name tag that said...
To whom this may concern,
Please look after this dog for me.

I have left you a million dollars under
the 3rd tree next to the green shed by the lake

Please look after him well.

You can call him any name you want.
I know you will do a good job.
So Karen looked at the mutt and said I will name you...
Karen and Jack were very happy together;
and they ran and played
and Karen laughed a lot
and Jack loved being with Karen.

It was amazing

One day, Karen was in her lounge eating some fudge
when there was a knock at the door.


'Who can this be?'
Karen was puzzled...
... Jack was excited!

Karen opened the door
and guess what?

(me:ooh.. tell me tell me)

There was a dashing young man... about Karen's age
standing there in a suit
looking all chipper
and very kind indeed.

they both looked into each others eyes.

It was love at first site!

He only came to read the gas meter.

She gave him a piece of fudge the rest is history.

They got married.

Went to church.

Had a beach and...

....lived happily ever after!

i loved my story!)

(claire: :):)

(me:that was great!)

(me:(note for later...
unicorns are mentioned in the king james bible -
translated wild ox in the NIV))


(me:isn't that weird?)

(me:i only know that because a friend of mine
is memorizing scripture from the KJV
and one of them said unicorn
so I had to look it up)


that was an awesome story, claire
thank you)

(claire:I enjoyed it
it was lots of fun
I loved both of the stories)


(me:I might have to put them both on my blog)

(me: :):)

do do

its fab)

(note: from here, the coversation
went to the fact that I lost the first part of her
story to me. It was no longer in my chat window.
But Claire came to the rescue and sent it to me.

All punctuation was added by me, since, well, the stories were told in a chat window where punctuation just isn't important.