Saturday, November 27, 2004

Giving Thanks (A Little Late)

Everyone has had pain and suffering, both physically and spiritually. Well, this holiday season, pain and suffering is precisely what I am MOST thankful for. This may seem a little strange since most the world tries to avoid pain but I am learning to accept pain because I am growing so that I can see the good results of pain.
Everything good and lasting in this world comes with a measure of pain.
The expectant mother, especially with her first child, never expects the labor of birth to be as painful as it is. But think about how much stronger the mother becomes through this pain. And like in everyday life, the end result of her temporary pain and suffering is spectacular.
Everything good and lasting in this world comes with a measure of pain.
Think about Christ's death on the cross. Cruxifixion is one of the most excrutiating deaths know to mankind. Christ endured this horrendous pain for three hours or 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds for us. And that wasn't even the start of His pain. He was scourged, stabbed with thorns, He was spit upon and mocked. And then He had to endure cruxifixion. But look at what He gave us through His great sacrifice- He gave us spiritual peace and joy. He opened to the door to the Father and to heaven.
Everything good and lasting in this world comes with a measure of pain.
This past summer has been really hard for me and I have shed a lot of tears. But I have grown through it all.
-I have learned to let go of the glitches and embarassments that happen everyday since I am an imperfect human.
-I have learned to not allow friends to mean more to me than doing God's will by witnessing or reproving them.
-I have learned that I am a unique person created in the image of God and that if I am living by faith, I am a glittering jewel, even though I have many faults.
It has been a massive struggle for me to let go of these burdens and temptations. I have learned recently, through the Holy Spirit, that Satan's biggest temptation to me is to dwell on my mistakes and minor issues. It is Satan's way of distracting me from the big things in life like God and truth. Satan tries to make me believe that it is my conscience and I focus on it, thinking that I can resolve something that is an integral part of my humanity, my imperfection, just by stressing over it.
Now that I can see the truth, I am required to throw myself into Christ's arms and trust that my faith is sufficient.
I am so incredibly grateful for pain. I never ever am happy about it in the moment but in the end it is always so worthwhile. Pain weakens the human body but through faith, it strengthens the soul and endurance of a Christian.
It is important to remember that pain is just a temporary trial. Even if we have to endure pain for our entire physical existence, it is still temporary, if we are Christians, because we have heaven to look forward to and spending eternity with our Father.
There are several passages that speak about the results of pain:
"Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." (John 12:24-26)(NASB)
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For how does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits his soul?" (Luke 9:23-25)
"But I am afflicted and in pain; may Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high. I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the Lord better than an ox or a young bull with horns and hooves. The humble have seen it and are glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners." (Psalm 69:29-33)
Jesus is not looking for the strongest, the wittiest, the bravest, or the healthiest people to fight His battles on this earth. He is looking for the people who will lay down their lives (health, social status, etc.) and daily pick up their crosses of pain, suffering, or grief. Through their weaknesses, He is glorified.
I am thankful for any oppurtunity to glorify God and if it has to be through pain then I will ask God to uphold me. He will, He has promised.
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous men stumble badly, those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." (Isaiah 40:28-31)
"But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, My friend, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:9-10)
I choose to cast all my cares upon His broad shoulders. He is faithful. If I remain faithful, He will never let me go. He has promised.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


All Praise to God

Let us, with a gladsome mind,
Praise the Lord, for he is kind:
For his mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.
Let us blaze his name abroad, For of gods he is the God:
He, with all-commanding might,
Filled the new-made world with light:
All things living he doth feed, His full hand supplies their need:
He his chosen race did bless
In the wasteful wilderness:
Let us then with gladsome mind
Praise the Lord, for He is kind.

by John Milton

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Beach-by Me

Have you ever sat in the sand and
Wished that time would stop?
Have you ever noticed the little sand fleas that
Float across the footprints
That are to them great dunes?
Have you ever seen the way the sun
Reflects its golden bars
In broken patterns across the waves?
Have you ever watched a pelican dive
And surface with a crab that clacks its claws and struggles?
Have you ever wished you could
Sit under the salty sea grass forever?
Have you stood and let the cold
Water slip in and steal the sand beneath
Your feet?

If you have, you have noticed
That the clock keeps ticking,
The sun goes down beyond the horizon
And the crab is eaten.
The tide comes up and eats away the beach,
Creating waves that threaten the safety
Of the salty sea grass.
But yet come again tomorrow,
The beach will be the same and
Yet so different.

-October 6, 2004
Liberty Grant

A Poem-by me

She smelled of the sun kissed waves that dappled the sands.
My breath caught as I beheld her smiling eyes.
I could not believe this being to be real.
I wondered at the seeming phantasm before me.

I wished I could capture and cage as she did.
I wished that my muddy brown locks fell as bewitchingly as her golden strands.
I wished my hefty frame was as lithe and ethereal as her slender form.

She was the every man's dream, the vision that struck them dumb.
She was the unreacheable queen of the castle in the sky.

She chose an equal, if ever one existed.
She chose the muscular man tht charmingly imprisoned every girl's imagination.

She chose to descend her unbreachable throne.
She chose to give in to his desires.
She chose wide of the mark.

Her child is beautiful and blemish free.
Yet she has lost the halo of glory that once crowned her fair head.
She is alone, deserted.

We forget so quickly, we with minds like sieves.
We forget the people that once were our heroes.
They, that choose to leap from their pedestals, crash.
They choose to jump yet expect to defy gravity and not fall.

They choose wrong.

She was the sun kissed vision that once dappled my dreams of perfection.
Now she is the warning.
She stands with her child in the crossroads of life.
We walk past and whisper and vow to never be like her.

-June 17, 2004
Liberty Grant (based partially on previous personal aspirations)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Quote of the Month-C.S. Lewis

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis because he uses Darwin's case against him, creating quite an accurate rebuttal to evolutionists. Why should we believe so emphatically that evolution is correct and creationism isn't?

"If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of man was an accident too. If so, then all our thought processes are mere accidents-the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for materialists' and astronomers' as well as for anyone elses'. But if their thoughts-i.e. of Materialism and Astronomy- are merely accidental by-products, why shoud we believe them to be true?...I see no reason for believing that one accident [Darwinism] should be able to give a correct account of all the other accidents."

-C.S. Lewis