Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Heart in His Hands

This is just the latest book that I have endeavored to read. It's the account of Ann Judson and her life as it was spent with Adoniram Judson, missionary to the Burmese people and the transcriber of the King James Bible into Burmese.

I got this book a couple of years ago after Sherri had given me a an Amazon gift card as a secret prayer sister gift. And yes, it's taken me a little bit to get started in on it, but now that I have read I'm very happy that I did.

I've always enjoyed reading biographies. Little snippets of peoples lives. Historical figures, like George Washington or everyday ordinary people, like Carolyn Jessop (Escape) etc. Anyone that may have something worthwhile to share I consider reading. I've recently enjoyed reading the biographies surrounding lives of missionaries, like George Muller and today was able to finish the afore mentioned biography.

I sometimes think that there needs to be more books written about the women that stood beside their husbands and great men of the Christian faith. Like their husbands lives, these women have a lot of wisdom to share and there is a lot that young Christian ladies can learn from the character and trials of their lives. Part of the reason though, at least I believe, that the accounts of their lives are in short supply is because they were in large part busy with the running of their households and the work of supporting their husbands ministry that I don't think they thought of or had the time to keep tabs on the daily events of their lives. But whatever the reason for the absence of their voice Sharon James, the author, does an excellent job of weaving her voice throughout the book, by using her letters to her family and accounts from Adoniram's diary & letters to tell of the extraordinary life she shared with her husband in one of the hardest places on the earth geographically, politically and spiritually speaking. Proverbs 18:22 a says, Whosoever findeth a wife, findeth a good thing. To say that Ann was a good wife puts it mildly.

From what I can gather in reading the book, from the excerpts of the letters that were shared with us, and from the testimony of her character she was a spirited and godly woman, that desired to please the Lord with her life. She was accomplished in studies and, uncommon for the day in which she lived, she held a career as a teacher. She had a mind and an aptitude to learn, and I was particularly charmed by her diary entry...

"Have taken charge of a few scholars. Ever since I have had a comfortable hope in Christ, I have desired to devote myself to him in such a way, as to be useful to my fellow creatures. As providence has placed me in a situation in life, where I have had an opportunity of getting as good an education as I desire, I feel it would be highly criminal in me not to improve it. I feel also, that it would be equally criminal to desire to be well educated and accomplished, from selfish motives, with a view merely t gratify my taste and relish for improvement, or my pride being qualified to shine. I therefore resolved last winter, to attend the academy, from no other motive, than to improve the talents bestowed by a God, so as to be more extensively devoted to his glory, and the benefit of my fellow creature." 

This outlook on life I'm sure was far from the norm for her day. Most girls being preoccupied with marriage & cultivating a family. From what I know of the early 19th century career and service to others in such a fashion was not championed. She admittedly enjoyed the sense of adventure that the Lord would lead her in her service to him. Truth be known I don't know how a person, especially in that time period could not posses that quality in their spirit. There was so much that was unknown about that part of the world; customs & language being among them. Now I love to travel but for a 19th century woman to want to go there, even if it was with her husband, took a person of unique character to be sure. Well didn't men back then first address the father for marriage? Yes they did, and Adoniram was no different? His proposal to her father, after only knowing Ann a short while, was direct and mixed no words for he knew the seriousness of what lay before them....

"I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this for the sake of Him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?"

Most fathers would probably not take a letter like this to heart, but understanding the nature of the work that Adoniram was called to he left the decision in Ann's hands, a radical idea for the time.

Knowing that a person that would be called to that part of the world would not likely ever return to the home of their birth, see their family & friends again. Burma, now known as Myanmar, was a world away from the "comforts" that 19th century New England offered Ann. Having been to this part of the world myself I can attest to the fact that the climate is brutal with it's humidity, multiply that with 19th century modesty standards and I'm sure that it was down right stifling, but this was hardly a care that Ann ever expressed. Her only cares were for Adoniram and for the service that she desired to give to her Lord to see souls won for Christ.

Something that should be appreciated about the early work of their ministry to the Burmese people is that they first sought to learn Burman customs and ways of doing things, rather than force their American customs on the Burmese. Any person evangelising in another culture should take this into account. An example of their efforts in doing this was when the Judson's realized the zayat's, buildings along the side of the roads that the Burmese used to stop and worship in, could have a practical use in their evangelistic efforts. So they set one up for themselves, once they had a grasp of the language. But rather than having a monk occupying the space, Adoniram would use the opportunity each time someone stopped to witness to them about Jesus Christ. By recognizing a symbol that the Burmese had an understanding of, and using it in a way that would help them to be able to reach out to the people they were called to, Ann and her husband were able to share the gospel with people that they would otherwise not have contact with. But they were able to accomplish this because they had the foresight to take their time by learning the language and observing the Burmese people, rather than going in with guns blazing & no plans outside of sharing the gospel with them. Had that been the plan it might not have fared so well for them, and things for the couple weren't that easy to begin with. Upon their initial arrival to the country they were initially prevented from going in due to war & the British East India Companies outlook on Christian missionary work, and were therefore requested to return to America. Talk about discouraging.

While her husband spent his days in deep translation & study of the language, Ann was also able to take the time to ingratiate herself to the viceroy's wife in the Rangoon province. I was thinking about this move of hers the other day and it was an intuitively calculating move on her part. They were foreigners and had no real claim to any sort of society in the country, but she knew that should there be a political upheaval (as there were many) that even if she could not get an audience with the viceroy himself, that by at least holding court with his wife that an "ally" could be made and should her husband need help that she could get him an audience with the viceroy, through his wife. Talk about the gift of gab being put to good use, and yes boys it is a gift. And we ladies are good at it for reason such as this. Hey, that's my story & I'm sticking to it;) But seriously, this calculated move on Ann's part actually came in handy for Adoniram when he wanted to get an audience with the King of Burma during a particular time of political unrest. Ultimately it did not work in their favor, but the fact that they were even able to have their voice heard was remarkable to say the least.

Ann's life in Burma was never really easy, she was sick a lot. She was so ill at one point that she had to return to England & ultimately America so that she could receive the rest of a cooler climate & modern day medical care, which actually made her condition worse. She was ultimately gone for 2 years from her husbands side & their work in Burma due to this retreat. But because of her respite she was able to report to the Missionary Society that supported them, and gain more support for their work by having the time to pen An Account of the American Baptist Mission to the Burman Empire, a task that she would not have had the time for if she had not been on bed rest. Her writing skills also lent to her by God helped her to write catechism material for children in Burma, she was able to open a school there for helping children to read, in which her material was used, and she helped to translate the book of Matthew into Burmese as well.

Her status as a helpmeet in the work of God didn't stop at transcription & writing though. Because of her devotion to the souls in Burma & her husband, she fought with abandon for 2 years for her husbands release from his unjust imprisonment. Due to the war between Burma & England foreigners were treated with suspicion, regardless of their reason for being in the country, & ultimately Adoniram was taken as a prisoner of war. The accounts in the book are harrowing to say the least. By all accounts she was a lady acting upon the presumption of others ideology. She had no one with her except 2 foreign charges & her cook, she was pregnant & then continued to campaign for her husbands release once she gave birth, she saved & preserved his translation work that he was doing with the King James Bible during this time, she brought him food in prison (I otherwise believe he would have had none), and when he was taken to what was to have been a death camp she followed him again to petition for his release & to take care of him as best as she could at the prisoners new location. I am half inclined to believe that there are not so many women today that hold their husbands so dear to their lives, in the ministry or not. Not having my life tied to another's at this point in my life I struggle to think of what it mush be like to be that devoted to another person? To set aside everything, even her own health, to ensure that your husband can survive. The character of most people today doesn't allow for that. It's all about making sure that "I'm #1 and taken care of". But that is exactly what Jesus asks of us, is it not? I dare say that it is. In the final days of this 2 year ordeal she was so ill that she was said to be a ghost of her former self, almost unrecognizable to her husband. Her head had been shaved due to her fevers that she was enduring, her body emaciated from malnourishment, unable to feed her infant daughter. And yet upon her slight recovery of body & husband. Her thoughts were towards how to move forward with the mission work & converted souls in Burma.

A brief encounter with a sailor that had been recovered from the river, upon the Judson's release from prison, gives details to the state of her countenance...

"...My eyes first rested on the thin, attenuated form of a lady...That lady was Mrs. Judson, whose long captivity and severe hardships amongst the Burmese have since been detailed in her published journals. I remained two days with them, - two delightful days they were to me. Mrs. Judson's powers of conversation were of the first order, and the many affecting anecdotes that she gave us of their long cruel bondage, their struggle in the cause of religion, and their long adventures during a long residence at the court of Ava, gained a heightened interest from the beautiful, energetic simplicity of her language, as well as from the certainty I felt that so fragile a flower as she in very truth was, had but a brief season to linger on earth." 

Ann passed on into glory at the age of 37, while her husband was again away on ministry business. Her daughter passed away a few days later. And yet, for all the pain that she endured in this earthly realm, Ann's was a life well lived. I closed this book wondering if she had even considered the words that she had written so early in her life, about being in service to others. I'm sure those diary's were all but gone from her possession when she was in Burma, but it is obvious, by the example in which she lived her live, that the principles of devotion to God and service to her fellow men, were never really gone from her heart. In reading about her life, though we are separated by 222 years, I felt very akin to Ann. Her desire for self improvement, her love of people & the ministry and her desire to serve others and God are not far from my own ideals, although mine might have taken more time to cultivate in a godly direction, rather than a selfish one. I only now wait to see what use I can be and what doors the Lord will open for me in my life as it continues to progress.

In case you haven't figured it out, I RECOMMEND this book with all sincerity and hope that if you so desire that you will afford yourself the opportunity to read it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quinoa Salad...A new recipe

O man! It's been a long time since I have posted a recipe. I wish I had taken pics so you could see it for yourself, but let me just say that it is yummy! But first, a little background on this great grain.

Quinoa, is actually pronounced keen-wa. The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or 'mother of all grains', and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using 'golden implements'. During the European conquest of South America, the Spanish colonists scorned quinoa as 'food for Indians', and even actively suppressed its cultivation, due to its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies. In fact, the conquistadors forbade quinoa cultivation for a time and the Incas were forced to grow wheat instead. Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it was successfully domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5200 to 7000 years ago. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

One of my favorite moments since making this salad was to serve up some to my co-worker Sarah, who admittedly doesn't like to try new foods. And so when she saw it she was at first concerned because it didn't look like anything that she had seen before, but after she tried it she said "You are a good cook". Even though there's not a lot of cooking involved in making a salad, I took it as a complement because I love getting people to eat things that they would usually have an aversion too.

When cooking quinoa it's 2 parts water to 1 part dry quinoa. So simply if you want to cook 1 cup of quinoa you need 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of quinoa would need 1 cup of water and so on. Quinoa expands & like rice makes enough for more than one serving so just know how much you want to make. For the recipe below I made enough so I could have enough for a couple servings.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup of dry white quinoa
1 can of kidney beans
1 red onion finely chopped
Chopped cilantro about a couple of handfuls/to taste
1/2 cup EVOO
1/3 cup of lemon or lime juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Put dry Quinoa in water in the pot and then bring to a boil. Once quinoa is boiling cover and reduce heat to a simmer, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking prep the rest of the salad. Open can of beans, drain & rinse. Chop onions & Cilantro. Measure oil & juice & whisk together. Set ingredients aside until quinoa is done cooking. Empty cooked quinoa into a bowl & allow to cool. Add other ingredients, add salt and pepper and then top with the oil/juice dressing. Mix & serve.

I got the recipe from one of my Rachel Ray magazines. The salad is really simple and you can feel free to play with different ingredients for it. I've made it with red quinoa & white beans. Tonight I added some bay shrimp for a little extra protien factor. It would probably also woth with some finely diced tomatoes, kalamata olives...the possibilities are really endless. It's GF friendly and really makes the body feel good and satisfied upon comsumption. Serve as a side or a main course.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Foodie Friend

I'm really happy to have as many friends as I do. I've befriended them over my many travels and on of them just happens to now be a pastry chef at Abacus in TX, a very well known restaurant in the foodie world. I sent a couple friends of mine there a few months ago and they raved about the food. I hope to be able to eat there one day myself. Especially since I know a chef there and she can accommodate my GF needs. Today Abbey had a gig today on the local news channel making marscapone tarts. Here was her presentation...

Mascarpone Tart with Summer Berries
Chef Abbey Renegar of Abacus shares this recipe for Mascarpone Tart with Summer Berries.

Cooking Classes:

Mascarpone Tart Filling
16 oz Mascarpone cheese
4 oz Sour Cream
3 yolks
1/3 c AP flour
2 oz Butter, room temp
¼ c Sugar

Blend all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until smooth fill tart shells and bake at 325 until set.

Filo Shells
1 package filo dough, thawed
4oz Butter, melted
¼ c Raw sugar

Brush sheet of filo with butter, layer another sheet of filo. Butter this layer and sprinkle with sugar, top with one additional sheet of filo brush with butter. Cut to desired size and line tart mould (or muffin pan.).

Obviously this not a GF recipe, I just wanted to brag on my firend for a bit.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This Weeks Billboard

After all the other billboards that have been put up regarding the Lords return, I think this photo pretty much says it all for any future response that Mr. Camping needs to make.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WOW this thing is GREAT!!!

Seriously it is!!! If you don't know what it is let me enlighten you. It's called Roku. It's a wireless entertainment box and my Dad got it for me for my Birthday. I initially liked the idea of getting one simply so I could stream Netflix from my TV instead of my laptop all the time. But let me tell you it's so much more.

It took me about a week or so to get up the energy to want to set it up because initially I thought I would have to plug it into my router which would constitute me rearranging my furniture & not something I was really keen on. In a place as small as mine you want to maximize your space as much as possible and once the furinuture goes down you don't want to move it (I now have to re-evaluate the BR setup...but that's another story, for another time). However, in the process of the set up I realized that I could setit up wirelessly to my router & then that made me want to use it even more, not to mention I could still keep everything in it's place.

So after the set up, I connected it to my Netflix and then realized that Roku has it's own channels that you can subscribe to. Some you have to pay for, but they also have quite a few free ones that are actually pretty useful. Like I was able to connect my Pandora (music) account to their Pandora channel & have music play through my TV, totally cool! Lest anyone thing that Pandora is strictly for "popular" music, I happen to have my stations setup for classical, hymns, musicals & opera, so there is quite a variety. And it's come in quite nicely today as I've commenced my Saturday cleaning. I haven't had to stop & switch CD's etc. It's really nice. I also downloaded some more spiritual channels, like thier Sermon Audio channel! Now I can also listen to sermons that my church, and others like ours, have downloaded. It was a little weird last night when I was scrolling through the information and I ran accross Pastor Sargent & Pastor Jeremiah's pictures from their Sermon Audio accounts. Haven't found Bro. Geist on their yet, but I there's time for that. The one channel that I did opt to pay for is called The Streaming Bible,  I can listen to the Bible being read anytime I want. It was pretty neat last night just to check it out and to have it on in the background. Scrolling thought their radio channel was also pretty interesting, because now I can listen to my talk radio through my TV as well. Gone is the static of my antenna! Definitely a fun "toy" to get. And just so you readers know, no you don't need a fancy LCD or HDTV for it to work. I'm using my old tube TV for it. Thanks to my Dad for thinking of it. I'll never pay for cable again after this.

No Man Can Know

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the rapture happening on Saturday. Ummm, sorry to tell you, and by you I mean people that believe this, that's not going to happen. Now don't get me wrong, it will happen one day, but according to the Bible no man can know the day or the hour of the Lords return, Matthew 25:13
It's been a lot of talk on the radio station that I listen to during the day, and while I don't believe this rhetoric, it's still very waring on the mind when I know the truth. Below is the letter that I wrote to the radio station that I listen to during the day. They newver read it on the air, but it felt good to get it off of my chest.

Dear Dave & Luke,

I am a Christian and believe in the rapture. I’ve taken a bit of time to compose this email so I hope that you will take just a bit of time to read it. After listening to on air conversation the other day, and with all this fear mongering about the end of the world that has been going on over the past few weeks I feel compelled to over up a much more logical counter argument and to point out one simple Bible verse that completely negates this man’s prediction, Matthew 25:13 - Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Simply put anyone who says that they can predict the return of the Lord, or that they know for a fact when this event will happen is lying, because Jesus himself said no one could know when that time would be. Only God himself knows when that time will be.

I heard the interview that you and Luke had with this man, and if he was so confident why did he not give his method for figuring this date out and the verses that would back this date up? Not an unreasonable question, and IF he had the answer there should be nothing for his to with hold. God has given us everything that we need to know in the Bible that pertains unto life, 1 Peter 1:3 - According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; and if God thought it was really important for us to know the exact date of his return, I have no doubt that he would have made sure that the writers & translators or the Bible made sure to put that exact date in there. However, since it’s not in there I highly doubt that this man knows what he’s really talking about.

He was also predicting an earthquake, which is easy to do since there has been a lot of movement in the earth with those lately and very easy to scare mass amounts of people with, but 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says, For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. I don’t know about you, but when I picture a thief in the night I picture a couple things. First, I don’t picture him making to much noise, unlike an earthquake, but rather coming in silently, which brings me to point #2 and back to the fact that this man can’t know the date of the Lords return, and that is that no one knows when a thief in the night is going to come, just that he will at some point and so the best they can do is prepare for that thief. And for that reason people should make sure that their relationship with God rests solely on their standing with Jesus Christ for when he does return as that thief to rapture up those that have put their faith and trust in him by repenting of their sins and seeking the Lords forgiveness.

Don’t get me wrong, as a Christian I look forward to this day with great anticipation. I just want people to know that based on what the Bible says about NO man being able to predict God’s return that this man, however well intentioned, is wrong and by his own admittance from the interview was wrong with a previous date as well, something else to take into account about this man and his credibility.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Please feel free to share as you so desire.

My former Pastor preached a message this past Sunday on the topic and WOW, what a difference to listen to something that actually makes sense in accordance with scripture. Click on the link to listen for yourself, Why the Rapture will not happen on May 21st, 2011. He's also having a "We're Still Here" BBQ at his church, Silvercrest Bapstist Church in Waterford, MI, in case anyone readingthis is able to go.

For those that believe like me you'll find it a blessing, for those who don't know what to believe it may give you some perspective and call to your attention maybe your own relationship with him that you need to take care of, and for those that actually believe that you can know the day and the hour you will probably find it irritating at first and then alarming that you may have allowed yourself to be taken in by a charlatan. His followers have cashed in their retirement savings & stopped paying their mortgages & other bills that affect their earthly tenure. This behavior does not bode well for them come Sunday morning.

I'm so thankful that God is faithful and true. That he left us his word, the King James Bible, with full completeness that we can have the confidence that everything that is in there is what we need to live a life that is honoring and glorifying to him. Granted, I'm far from perfect, but his word gives me the knowledge on how I can live a life that he is pleased with. Which will include my life on Sunday morning. After all I have a Sunday School lesson that I'm preparing for:) Until the next post...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What was he watching?

Wanna know what OBL was watching right before Seal Team 6 stormed in... Click the link below...

What was OBL watching?

Just a silly article

In light of recent events with public enemy #1 taken care of now, it seems that the galaxy is looking to exact justice with everyone. Including the Darkside.

Say what...

In light of recent historical events I found this article, sent to me by a co-worker, by the NY Times amusing. I'm not sure that Obi-Wan Kenobi is the person that should be hunted down, but I do find it humerous that the Times would parody our President as Darth Vadar.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All good things...

"All good things must come to an end". Or so the saying goes anyway. Well for me that is partly true, for while I'll never stop learning about the Bible or what God wants to teach me, I do have to say that at this time I am officially done with Bible Institute!

My final paper was on this book. George Müller was an amazing prayer warrior, and though I had a hard time initially getting through the book I'm happy to say that it was worth it. One of the reasons that I can say that I did enjoy it was because I'm a big biography nut. One summer I read so many biographies from the library that I scored tickets to an Oakland A's game.

The entire time that I was reading the book I kept thinking about Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

In every facet of his life George Müller sought the Lords will. He never entangled himself with debt and all the while maintained multiple Orphan houses on nothing but that which the Lord provided for him through means of monetary and physical gifts, such as food. There is much that I could go on about regarding this mans life and his testimony, but for the sake of time I'll just share with you his thoughts on prayer.

Müller had a method that he called the 5 Prevailing Points of Prayer:
1. Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the only ground of any claim for blessing.
2. Separation from all known sin.
3. Faith in God’s Word of promise as confirmed by his oath. Not to believe him is to make him both a liar and a perjurer.
4. Asking accordance with his will. Our motives must be godly: we must not seek any gift of God to consume it upon our own lusts.
5. Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God and waiting for God, as the husbandman has long patience to wait for the harvest.

This book was an encouragement for me while I was reading it. One way it encouraged me was for me to examine, what possessions I had, and were they really necessary. When I began the book I was in the process of moving. The place that I ultimately ended up signing a lease on was substantially smaller than wither of my previous two apartments and the thought of downsizing seemed daunting. Where would my things go? Is there enough room? etc. I had purchased things over the years that I would be saving and needing to keep for some time, specifically my dishes from Italy, which I bought many years ago with the intent of using them for my family, but would the cabinet space be deep enough, and my closet could challenge the smallest broom closet for which one holds less. However, at this same time in reading this book I was reading chapter number 5 and Pierson explains the desire that Müller and his wife had to not lay up treasure for themselves on earth based on Matthew 6:19-34 & 19:21. The Lord used this part of my reading, and Müller’s convictions on the matter, to help me to see that my worries were pretty juvenile. That my desire to be attached to certain possessions was silly and that ultimately the fact that just because I have them in my possession does not mean that they are not His to begin with since He was the one to supply me with the funds for them to begin with. Once I was willing to accept that downsizing became less of a burden and more of a desire & challenge to see what I was willing and able to go without. I still think I could probably get rid of more, maybe I will.

In my research for writing my paper I even found a blog that is only on the subject of him and his life GEORGE MULLER. It's pretty interesting, but that could just be because I'm on a kick right now. Regardless, I know that if you take the time you'll enjoy it too.

Bible Institute was a lot of work, but so worth it when you get to learn more about the Bible and what faith in Jesus Christ means, not just for ourselve but for those Christians that came before us as well (I'm thinking of my Church History class). Of course if things change and something new comes up, or I just want a refresher in a subject I can always take the courses again, but for now I'm done...whew! I'm only the second lady to graduate, Sherri was the other lady, from our Institute since it's primarily set up for men going into the Ministry. However, all are encouraged to attend, I just never sat in on certain courses since they were for men only.

I almost can't believe that I'm done with it, since I've been engaged in it since I got out of the Navy in 2005.  See back then my plan was to go off to Bible college, probably meet up with some of my friends from Sig, get married and live "happily ever after". See the caveat to that statement was MY PLAN. The Lord saw fit to show me differently. Through a series of steps. First, through prayer and meditation the Lord showed me that if I was to go to Bible college it would be for the wrong reasons (mainly to get my MRS. degree). However, when the Lord designed me he also gave me a mind that enjoys learning and so the thought of me going to get my MRS degree seemed to be leading to a vapid existance since I rather enjoy learning and challenging myself in new areas. Rather than shoulder the burden of disobedience I resolved to follow wherever he would lead me.

Shortly after this revelation I also realized that in order for me to be the woman that God desires me to be I would have to get out of the Navy, a daunting prospect at best, and not one that an instution of buildings could mold, but that only from the institution of faith in Jesus could He mold me into a new creature. Then I sought the Lord as to where I would go after, I wanted to stay up here in WA, but was unsure of how to make it on my own. Alas a silly thought, for that has hardly been the case. Yes, I have to work to provide for myself, but on my own? I think not for the Lord has paved the way for me, with my jobs (both good and bad) & with my ministries. No, I can hardly say that I'm on my own, for I am bought with a price, 1 Corinthians 6:20. And once I realized this then I decided to place all on the Lord and let him guide me where he wanted me to be, which was here in WA, and in Bible Instute so I could learn those things that I desired to and have a deeper root grounding me to my faith as well as stimulating my mind.

There were various tirals and disappointments along the way, but all to make me a BETTER servant, not a BITTER servant. Graduation is on June 12th, and while I'm done with this phase I look forward for more to come. Diligently seeking after the next opportunity that the Lord has in store for me, with prayer and dependance on Him.

Justice Served

Also on my Birthday...

Another event took place, which I've only now had time to contemplate. On May 1st, a day that will now be shared in the collective memory of the world, is the day that Osama Bin Ladin's life came to an end. An honor of dubious distinction I guess. For while our boys in blue, GO NAVY, have taken down a prominent American enemy there still many other enemies in the Al-Quida & Taliban circles that would seek to do us harm, not to mention the number of "American" terrorists that have tried to attack this country as well. So really the battle is far from over even though this was a VERY successful fight in the battle.

Also, as a Christian, it is important to remember that Proverbs 24:17-18 admonishes us not to rejoice in the misfortunes of our enemy.

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

Don't get me wrong, when I heard the news for me it was just like hearing the accounts of other times in history when God's will met with the perfect timing. Like the Lord guiding George Washington's decision to cross the Delaware river & to go into the enemy camp. The Lord provided the fog that rolled in so that George Washington's troops could surprise their enemy and turn the tide in the American Revolution. So too in this situation did the Lord guide the leadership that made the decision to go into the compound, the blindness for any potential enemy to get wind of the operation, and the men that went into the enemies camp to complete a long sought after goal. The poetry is goosebump worthy for sure.

Lest any person out there think that America was somehow in the wrong for the actions that were taken on this fateful day there is clear guidance that the the Lord gives as to the modes of how he executes justice, why it is right that justice is executed, and who we should really be praising because of the justice that was executed. 

First, God has given man government to execute justice angainst evildoers.

Romans 13:3-4, For rulers (goverment) are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not e afraid of power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he (government) is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
1 Peter 2:14, Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Secondly, He told us how that justice should be exectued.
 Genesis 9:6, Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Third, the Bible does say we are to rejoice when justice prevails, but it also says who we are to rejoice in.

2 Samuel 22:1, And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul.

Exodus 15:1, Then sang Moses and the children if Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Lastly, we are also to remember that those that die because of their wicked actions still have souls.

2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slacjness; but is longsuffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We only get to rejoice in these days post OBL's death because the Lord put the right people in place in order to have it done at this time. If it were to be sooner it would have been, but now was the time in His providential wisdom.

Some men are very happy about this day for more personal reasons. Like this teacher in WA that decided not to shave until OBL was brought to justice. Here is the Before & After photos...

Now, I'm not against facial hair on a man, but it has to look appropriate. And in this case it definitely does not. Unfortunately this poor man ended up looking like Osama Bib Ladin! I can only imagine the comments that he must have endured for the past 10 years, albeit self inflicted. No WAY would I want to go around looking like public enemy #1. Suffice it to say that his wife is happy as well!

My former Pastor was also interviewd on this matter by his local news station in Lubbock. Click the button to see what he says.

As for my own thoughts, well I am satisfied that justice prevailed. But we have a long way to go. OBL was just the posterboy for this particular gang of thugs. We still have men & women that are serving oversears in defense of our freedoms and sadly, for those of us that knew a life pre-9/11, we will never go back to the old normal. I can almost remember those days and they really are gone for good. Let's never forget those that have valiantly served our country, those that are still fighting, and those that still need to be reached with the gospel. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

On my Birthday

Yesterday May 1st, was my Birthday. I turned 32! YIKES! However, it gives me comfort to know that somehow the older I get the less people believe me. It's always a statement like "No way!!! Your can't be 32?!" Followed up with "O yes I can be". Where I then proceed to date myself with pop culture & historical references to the time frame that I have been alive in. I've earned every one of my 32 years, and am starting to get the gray that shows that too:(

The celebration started on the day before when I was at out monthly SPG meeting. I was busy cutting the GF Honey cake that I had made when all of a sudden my friends behind me started singing "Happy Birthday" and presented me with a monster rice krispy treat topped with chocolate.Our SPG leader Tim graciously held the flaming candle above it, since he could not penetrate the chocolate layer. I was so concerned with the wax dripping or the flame buring him that I was secretly hoping that the song would hurry up, even though I love a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. Sunday though was a great day to celebrate not just my birth, but that of my friend Daisy, as well as the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version 1611 Bible, which we were doing at church yesterday. Complete with a picnic and full day of preaching. For 400 years the King James Bible has been the Lords preservation of his word (another post will be following more about this soon). The day finished off over at Alyssa's house with us video chatting with Kali & Maggie and watching BBC's North & South. It's a really good story:) Sigh, complete with the the line "I don't wish to possess you! I want to marry you because I love you!" Like I said REALLY GOOD! Thanks Alyssa for the fun night. To wrap it up, Linnea, Levi & Isaiah called to sing me a happy birthday:) LOL!!! It was a total surprise and very nice of them to do that:) The Rawls are great friends to have.

I have many more thoughts to talk about on the events of May 1st, but for now I just wanted to revel in what was a good day that the Lord blessed me with. Hopefully, with the Lords help I can enjoy another 32 years.


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