March 30, 2013

a very Good Friday

Last night, my college and career age Sunday school group met together for our second prayer and fellowship night. We met at Baker's Square (boy, was it an adventure getting there!), each had a piece of delicious pie of all sorts and flavors, and spent a few precious hours in fellowship, reading God's Word, and finally praying for each other.

Those are the kinds of evenings that make me smile uncontrollably --- I can't stop, and I don't want to try! God fills me up with such gratitude for the Christian family He has blessed me with at my church; people so devoted to Him, I can't help but be sanctified just by spending time around them. I have never felt so at home at any other church in my entire life!

Our Pastor gave a wonderful Good Friday sermon, going through the last seven statements Jesus Christ made before his death. It was something I've never heard any other pastors teach specifically on before, and it was a refreshing thing to learn about. Our Lord was so unselfish! The first statement alone puts me to shame. The other six? *Sigh* Nothing is more humbling nor more precious than learning more about the actions and character of our Lord and Savior.

I've heard a lot of people I know joke about yesterday's celebration. "Good Friday?" they say, and go on about how terrible it all was --- excruciating pain, death... well, sure. But my Pastor explained that when Jesus breathed His last, it was a victorious moment. Don't say 'poor Jesus', because He fulfilled His purpose. That shifted at least my perspective on the subject.

And I could go on and on about the phrase 'It is finished', the most precious phrase of all to me that Jesus used throughout His life on earth, along with that which He spoke after His resurrection, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Both are encouraging for my faith. (What an understatement!) I don't need to fear because God is with me; I don't need to achieve anything because Jesus has already finished it all for me. Now it's just a matter of returning God's love in obedience and living according to His will --- simple, yet difficult to do because of the temptations of the world, but not impossible.

I feel so motivated to serve God fully, not as though my actions can please Him or earn anything from Him, but that my worshipful heart may give Him glory, and perhaps draw others' eyes toward Him.
Suffice to say that yesterday really was a Good Friday.

March 29, 2013

steps into spring

Spring is on the move.

At least here in Minnesota, we've had a few fluctuating false springs so far as winter has fought to keep it's strength up --- but no longer. Snow is finally melting, and I'm beginning to feel the warm promise of flowers and all growing things in the air.

Though I've visited my blog so very little this winter, life has not hit a lull.

During this week of spring break, I have not been needed to babysit my niece, as is usually a regular part-time activity, and there haven't been any piano lessons --- two large chunks of my week (when you include the extra babysitting that goes along with the lessons). The week, however, has had no trouble at all filling itself up, as it always does.

I find myself still wasting plenty of time watching various movies, usually in the evening, a habit of which I am trying to rid myself.

I've made headway in my novel, and am almost done with a long-winded editing process so that I should be able to move on to just plain writing by Monday. (Hopefully....)

As much as I love The Goose Girl, and Melanie Dickerson's works, I think The Hobbit is moving up a long ways on the favorite books list. The first time I read it, I had a hard time picturing everything, but since An Unexpected Journey came to theaters, the story and even the characters have been come easier to keep track of, understand, and love. I'm reading the book for the second time, and should break down and purchase my own copy anytime the next time I babysit and have some spare cash. ;)

Spring means it's almost my little sister's birthday (Emily), which I probably look forward to more than my own! I have a few little presents for her already, and know about a few bigger ones from our older sister, Lilly. I think knowing helps me anticipate the day even more.

Spring also means that the snow will be melting soon, the grass and leaves will be coming back, and through all of this, I'll have some fresh scenes to take photos of. (I really want to practice portraits this spring, and I'm already scoping out some good sites for these.)

Spring is a wonderful motivator. After a good long winter, it's time to step outside, stretch out the hibernating cramps, and go do something!

~*~*~*~*~*~

Thank You, Lord, for another new year, 
and thank You especially for another Good Friday anniversary!

March 5, 2013

let us not sleep

From Charles H. Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional:

Morning, March 5
"Let us not sleep, as do others." - 1 Thessalonians 5:6

Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song—
“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb'ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto him; let your heart be full of him; let your lips speak of his worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. ...in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
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