29 August, 2013

A Little Bit of Life O' Late...

The first day of August 2013. This year is going really fast. Has anyone else noticed that? Or at least it was the first day of August when I wrote that. Now, it's almost the first day of September. I've been neglecting this poor little blog a bit of late. (I know I just posted the other day, but it  was a guest post, and they don't require any thought from me. So if you want to do a guest post...:D) But the problem is I'm currently not really inspired to write anything... and that is a problem. But maybe, I'll be able to conjure something up... Or random somethings...

Here is a poem I discovered the other day. I just thought it was so true of many people today...and me too. Not wanting to give up something in order to help others. And also how that by refusing to share what they had, they lost all; they all died. I expect in the end if we do the same we'll reap the same results...

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
In bleak and bitter cold;
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first man held his back;
For of the faces round the fire
He noticed one was black.

The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes;
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight;
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death's still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn't die from the cold without,
But from the cold within.


 It's still August, and we're still having frosts, and we've had some wet and windy weather these last few weeks, but spring is coming. I can tell spring is coming. Here is how I can tell spring is coming:

There are flowers coming out...

...there are vegetables ripening...

...there are buds on the fruit trees...

...and there are sunny days... (Okay, winter has sunny days too...) 

I can tell spring is coming by the signs. It's the same with Jesus' second coming. We can tell it's getting closer because of the signs we can see all around us. 

'But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.' Luke 21:9-11 


Well, you wouldn't believe it I know, but last week I turned sixteen. I had been thinking about the fact that I was turning sixteen for months before it actually happened. See, I figured turning sixteen was a pretty big step (I now think otherwise) so I wanted to do something special. I wanted to celebrate. But I didn't know how or where or what. I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Ideally of course, I would have all my friends over. But that is quite impossible. So, I decided that it would be fine to just do 'nothing.' Then we learned some people we had recently met were having Bright Lights on my birthday. (Bright Lights is basically a meeting for girls where we study/talk about a particular topic, with an older girl leading. We also sang, and memorized scripture.)  I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not... meeting new people...spending the day with people I hardly knew...and it was one of the other girls birthdays too and they were having a surprise party afterwards for her...so I thought that might be a bit awkward... (Partially because I had made some biscuits for the occasion, and they did not turn out how they ought to have.) 

But we went. :) And honestly, it was the best birthday I can remember having, and sooo much better than anything I had imagined. We had the Bright Lights meeting and that was good. But it didn't stop there. :) After, we had afternoon tea (or some of us did anyway), then we did a photography scavenger hunt which was really fun, and then by the time we talked and played around a bit, it was dinner time! So we stayed for dinner and talked some more, and then left. Rather, reluctantly left. It was so good. I just felt so blessed! It was so much more than I'd imagined. 

Also, a few weeks before my birthday we bought an expensive 'tool', that was to be part of my birthday present. So I was seriously not expecting any presents. But.. my family still gave me some gifts! I was honestly surprised, and that just made things all the better. And, I dare say, I received the most birthday cards I can remember too. Now... this is not to prove how popular I am. It is to prove how blessed I am. I'm just feeling so blessed of late I had to share. And these birthday blessings were a good place to start. :) 

It reminds me of this verse: ...and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'  (Malachi 3:10) 

It also reminds me of the things I have been reading lately. 'Elli: Coming of age in the Holocaust', which I posted about here, and since then I have read another book 'Tears of the Rain.' It tells the story of an American family who went to Liberia, Africa, as missionaries for a couple of years. The things described in this book, the way the people live over there, starving, living in shacks built out of whatever they can lay there hands on, of the wars they have lived through and the horrible things they endured, of the orphanages filled with starving, sick and dying children, whose parents died in the war... It says to me yet again, I, we, have so much. We are so blessed. We live in comfort, have families to call our own, and eat as much as we please. (Or I do anyway.:P) We need to realize how blessed we are, like Shanna quoted Ellen White as saying in the previous post, we've nothing to fear except as we forget the way the Lord has led/blessed us in the past. 

So, how has God been blessed you of late? 

Anyway, I think that is the end of my random somethings... I hope you were encouraged somehow. :) And don't forget that you are blessings to me too. :) 

'The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.' Psalms 37:23-24  

My current favourite verse. :) 

26 August, 2013

Guest Post - Remembering How God has Led Us in the Past...

Wells. I have something different for you... (A change is as good as a holiday, right?) A guest post by my good friend Shanna! Thanks Shanna! 

     In reviewing our past history, having travelled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history. {CET 204.1}   

This quote reminded me of what Jessica has been saying in some of her previous posts {at the beginning of her blog} about prayer and how we need to ask God for things specifically. But instead of just asking for things we need to remember how God has led us in the past, so we can be encouraged, and continue in our journey heavenward!

In my past experience I can definitely see how God has led me and my family. From buying and selling houses, (which involves moving house many times!); living in a house in the process of being built, with humans, who all make mistakes (including me!), and trying to stay close to the Lord. Even though I sometimes lose my way and take my eyes of Him; I can still see his hand! The trials that I have passed through, have only strengthened my walk with Him, and even though it was hard, God put them there for a reason. With Mrs White I can say, Praise God!

We need to remember to keep our eyes on Jesus. We might lose our way, but I would like to encourage you, as soon as you realize that you have made a mistake, to turn your eyes back to Jesus! Dont even hesitate to come back to Jesus just as you are, as soon as you see your need! Jesus is waiting for you; will you come?

Look back on your past experiences, see how God has led you in every step, and with Mrs White say Praise God!

14 August, 2013

So Much.

I've just finished reading a book. Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust. It's the true story of a young Jewish girl, who lived through World War II, and experienced  the horrors or several concentration camps. She was thirteen when her and her family went to the camps; they were there for about eighteen months. When the war was over and they were free, she looked to be sixty years old.  I'm not doing a book review of this book, because I seem to have lost my knack for writing them... But this book really showed me how blessed I am.

I am living in a nice, warm, comfortable and spacious house. I am wearing nice, well-fitting warm clothes. In fact I just got some new clothes today. I have just eaten my third meal of the day, and at every meal, I ate well. I am not living in constant fear of death in a gas chamber. I am not outside working hard in the freezing weather all day every day. It is windy, wet and cold outside right now. But I wouldn't even know, except I can hear it outside my window. I am not yelled at and treated like an animal. I am not a number. I am blessed. I have my Mum, my brother and my sister all here with me. We are all healthy and happy.

This book tells a true story. I can't write it off by thinking, 'Oh, well. It didn't really happen anyway.' It happened. All the time I was reading it, I kept contrasting Elli's life and hardship - what she had to face every day, just in order to survive - to my own life. It is such a contrast. I have everything. She had nothing. Reading this book changed the saying for me -'Be thankful for small mercies.'- to 'Be thankful for all mercies.' 

10 August, 2013

Why Blog?

This has been the question on my mind of late. Before I had a blog, I thought it would be great to have one. I thought I would write posts every week, no big deal; I thought I would eventually get lots of readers, and yeah. But it's not quite like that. It takes time to sit down and write a post. It gets discouraging when no one comments, and I start to wonder is it worth me blogging. There are so many other blogs out there, why am I wasting my time? My blog is nothing special compared to everyone else's. I'm not a photographer, I don't write great stories or poems, I don't have amazing insights to share on life. I wonder why I blog...

Then I read a book. A short book. It's called 'More Than Numbers. Blogging for people not stats.' and it's written by Trina Holden. It made me stop, and think. What is my reason for blogging? What is my goal, what do I hope to achieve by it? Am I just trying to get readers, followers, comments? Am I blogging for myself or for others? If I'm blogging for myself then yeah, the amount of followers I have, and comments I get mean everything. But if I'm blogging for others, they are insignificant. So long as someone, even just one person, reads my blog and is somehow blessed or encouraged or inspired, then my blog is worth it. I have ten followers at the moment. If I look at that number from a blogging-for-me perspective that is not many at all. I've seen some blogs where they have thousands of followers. But if I look at that number from a blogging-for-them perspective that is heaps! Imagine if ten people were to come to my house once a week!

Trina ends the book by saying:

Seek depth over width,
Service over fame,
Seek to bless rather than impress,
and most of all
to ignore the numbers and
seek to have Kingdom Impact with your blog. 

I want to do that. I want my blog to be a service to others. I want to bless others. To inspire them, to encourage them. I want to bless you, my readers, to inspire you, encourage you. But not like big me instructing all my little followers. Not like that at all. You aren't my followers, you are my fellowers. We're pressing together toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 3:14)

We're in this together.