"When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven… The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God." ~Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, pg. 173
"It is obstacles that make men strong. It is not helps, but difficulties, conflicts, rebuffs, that make men of moral sinew. Too much ease and avoiding responsibility have made weaklings and dwarfs of those who ought to be responsible men of moral power and strong spiritual muscle."~EGW. 3T 495.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18
So I took Fundamentals of Public Speaking over the summer- my most dreaded subject of all my A.S. classes which I put off till the last possible moment... I took it online, and thankfully I only had to give three speeches, instead of the standard 5-6.
I had to videotape myself in front of an audience, and one of the audiences could be family and friends. So of course my first speech was given in front of my family and friends. I talked about bicycle safety.
I invited some friends from the upstairs apartment, and the mom and her little 2 and a-half year old son came.
I was of course nervous and made a fool of myself, and felt like I was wasting my words.
Come to find out, my friend with the 2 yr old called me today telling me that yesterday she was talking with her mom about getting the boy a bike for his birthday, and the grandma mentioned the various different accessories he would need like a helmet and knee pads, and the little boy chimed in then and said "Yes, I need a helmet so I wont hurt my head". The mom was surprised he knew what a helmet was for, but didn't think twice about it, until he said next, " Sara told me I need to wear a helmet to be safe".
Wow, I was so surprised, and so was his mom. I never once mentioned to him about helmets after the brief 5 minute talk that I gave more than 2 months ago.
Since when do little two year olds remember details like that?
I was encouraged to know that my silly talk wasn't a complete waste, and it also scared me to realize how closely little ones listen to what goes on around them.
Hopefully we are teaching the little ears around us only good things.
"In the night season I was before a company,* talking with them upon faith, and trying to make them understand that they were far behind in this respect. . . . They had a deficient experience in the knowledge of God and their Redeemer. I was trying to show them that they must be able intelligently to voice the words of John, 'Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world' (John 1:29), that they must behold Him as their sin bearer.
Then the Word of God was opened before me in a most beautiful, striking light. Page after page was turned, and I read the gracious invitations and words of entreaty to seek God's glory and God's will, and all other things would be added. These invitations, promises, and assurances stood out as in golden letters. Why do you not grasp them? I said. Seek first to know God before any other thing. Search the scripture. Feed on the words of Christ, which are spirit and life, and your knowledge will enlarge and expand. Study your Bible. Study not the philosophy contianed in many books, but study the philosophy of the Word of the living God. Other literature is of little consequence when compared with this. Do not crowd into your minds so many things that are cheap and unsatisfying. In the Word of God is spread before you the richest banquet. It is the Lord's table, abundantly provided, whereof you may eat and be satisfied.
The promises of God stood out clear and distinct, as though placed in letters of gold. Why, oh, why are they not appreciated! Why is not the heart filled with thanksgiving and praise? Why are your tongues so silent?... The talent of speech is misappropriated. Let the talent of choice words be given to God in thanksgiving and rejoicing, and this will glorify His name. Surrender self entirely to God. 'Let the peace of God rule in your hearts... ; and be ye thankful.'"
*She was describing a dream or night vision.
E.G.W. ~ That I May Know Him, pg 201
Read this devotional thought a couple times. Let it sink in.
Imagine yourself as one of the ones in the company who Ellen G. White was talking to...
Read it again.
Then act on what God convicts you to do.
What is it about avoidance that is so appealing to me? Avoidance hardly ever makes things easier in the long run. Then why do I always choose to avoid stuff, both good and bad?
Avoidance robs me of living. And I want to live.
So here's to making baby-steps towards a life free from unhealthy avoidance.
"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.... I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:5, 8.
"Seek to be an evergreen tree. Wear the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Cherish the grace of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperence. This is the fruit of the Christian tree. Planted by the rivers of water, it always brings forth its fuit in due season." MS 39, 1896
I have a lot I'd like to share, but the words just wont come, the heart is too weary,the thoughts too muddled. So really I have nothing to say at all. Except that the above verses and quote touched my heart. I am feeling like just about anything but an evergreen these days... But these words were just what I needed.
It is finally Sabbath again. This wannabe Evergreen is so grateful for that.
The last sentence in the following quote was the hardest to swallow for me: "The Criers of Peace"
"Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. Isa. 56:12.
The evil servant says in his heart, 'My lord delayeth his coming.' He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord's coming is delayed. He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure seeking. He smites his fellow servants, accusing and condemning those who are faithful to their Master. . . .
The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They are saying, 'Peace and safety.' Like the priests and teachers before the fall of Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. The signs of the times they interpret as foreshadowing this. But what saith the Word of Inspiration? 'Sudden destruction cometh upon them.' . . .
Men are putting afar off the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings. The proud boast is made, 'All things continue as they were from the beginning.' 'Tomorrow shall be as this day and much more abundant.' 2 Peter 3:4; Isa. 56:12. We will go deeper into pleasure loving. But Christ says, 'Behold, I come as a thief.' Rev. 16:15. At the very time when the world is asking in scorn, 'Where is the promise of his coming?' the signs are fulfilling. While they cry, 'Peace and safety,' sudden destruction is coming. When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle; when the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief."
Maranatha - Page 145
Where I am staying at right now is seriously less than a block away from an interstate. Maybe the distance of half a block away. Our apartment complex is the closest to the interstate. There is nothing between our building and this interstate, except for the road.
And I hate it. I despise the city. Everything about it. Instead of waking up to the sound of birds singing, I wake up to the sound of cars whizzing by.
And there's houses, churches, everywhere. I thought where I was staying at back in college was bad. But this is way worse. It's not the first time that I've lived in the city, but it's been atleast 3 years since I've spent this long in one, and I'd forgotten how awful it really is.
Even though I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to do my practicum at Florida Hospital, I will be so relieved when I can go back to the smaller city. Even though it's still bad there, and I feel like I have no privacy, it's way better than here.
I am so glad I was raised in the country. And I can't wait to move back someday. I long for the day where I can go for a walk and not hear a single car, and I can have my own garden, and sing without being heard, breathe in air that smells fresh and clean, and have pets than can roam free.
People say that one gets use to crowded spaces and constant noise and activity, but I don't want to get use to it. Ever.
For now I will bide my time here, and get away to the state park with friends any chance I get like I did last weekend.
This afternoon at my favorite devotional site I found this quote. I thought it quite fitting to what I'm dealing with now.
"It was not God's purpose that His people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents in a garden amidst the beautiful sights and attractive sounds of nature, and these sights and sounds He desires men to rejoice in today. Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth's history. It is time for our people to take their families from the cities into more retired localities, else many of the youth, and many also of those older in years, will be ensnared and taken by the enemy.
'Out of the cities; out of the cities!"--this is the message the Lord has been giving me.'"
13 days till I am at Florida Hospital.
Heard from administration yesterday... They reopened registration for stragglers such as myself. I never actually found out for sure if I would've been able to do Practicum without registering for the fall, but I wont wait to find out:) As soon as I found out registration was open, I registered.
I'm so glad things have worked out so far. It is a such a huge relief to know I still have a chance of graduating in December.
Seeing as I have a nursing test tomorrow, and a bunch of other assignments to finish before midnight, I gotta stop writing.
Thankfully, I see light at the end of the tunnel. I attended my last class this morning, and my last final is 9 days away.
So at this point, I am not sure I will be able to graduate in December after all. In order to do practicum, I have to be registered for the fall semester, and in order to register for the fall semester, I have to have financial clearance, which I didn't have until yesterday. I then found out that registration was already closed till the 1st of June. It closed on Monday. My practicum starts May 3rd.
When I found all this out, I naturally felt like getting into a fine frenzy... But I was able to stay calm, and I hurried over to my academic advisor. I explained everything to her, and she immediately made a phone call to records office to try to work things out. The lady in charge of registration opening or something is out of the office till next week. So my advisor told me that she would talk to the progressions coordinator and the nursing proffesor in charge of practicum, and told me to call her sometime next week to see how things were going.
My advisor called me this morning saying that the progressions coordinator for the nursing program advised her to e-mail the lady that is out of the office in Records, and explain my situation. So that is where things stand now.
I am so grateful that I have an advisor who I know will do everything she can to make this happen. She was instrumental in me miraculously getting into the nursing program in the first place, so if anyone can get the records office to register me, it's her.
Ultimately though, God alone can make this work out. It's very frightening for me to think that humanly speaking, there isn't a way for me to graduate in December. The truth is, I haven't allowed myself to think too much on that, because it really is overwhelming for me. It would be I wouldn't graduate until a whole year after I was supposed to. So instead right now I am trying to focus on trusting God, and trying to imagine just how He's going to work this out.
I am praying. There is nothing else I can do. I have to remind myself that no amount of worrying on my part can change the situation.
I'm tempted to play the blame game on myself, since our proffesor told us way back in early March to work things out with our financial advisor so that we could register. And the truth is I might have been able to scrounge up the money earlier, but since I did not realize registration closed early this year, I naturally waited as long as I could to mention my financial situation to my mom, who is the one who has to pay. I thought I was doing fine, until I realized I was one day late. It's actually really complicated, but yeah, I can't go blaming myself right now. It doesn't help things.
So if anyone happens to read this, please pray for Gods will to be done, and for grace on my part to accept whatever may come.
Mid-way through the semester, the teacher of my religion class was unable to continue teaching the class, so he was replaced by another instructor. This instructor is teaching the class quite differently than the other one was. So it's taken our class some time to get use to him. Especially since he added additional assignments to our load.
In any case, this past class period, he shared a Bible verse, and after sharing how it had blessed or impacted him, asked the class to share. One person shared, and then he asked again if any one had anything to share. I wanted to share about a certain part of the verse that spoke to me, but after a second of hesitation, I lost my courage. Right at that second, a young man raised his hand. The part of the verse that jumped out at him was just what I wanted to share. In a sense, I was rebuked for not sharing, and yet in another way, I was so encouraged. This young man was not someone I would've expected to share, especially along the line of spiritual things. He shared how recently he had been feeling the need to draw closer to God, and how he had started spending more time with God, and in the process, had found his convictions start to change... I was so blessed by his simple words. I think the whole class was impacted for good. I'm pretty sure it didn't come easily for this guy to share, but I hope he doesn't regret sharing, because it meant a lot to me.
I hope to be more like this young man. I want to share from my heart about what God is doing in my life.
Only God knows the impact for good my words may have on one soul.
"In consideration of the shortness of time we as a people should watch and pray, and in no case allow ourselves to be diverted from the solemn work of preparation for the great event before us. Because the time is apparently extended, many have become careless and indifferent in regard to their words and actions. They do not realize their danger and do not see and understand the mercy of our God in lengthening their probation, that they may have time to form characters for the future, immortal life. Every moment is of the highest value. Time is granted them, not to be employed in studying their own ease and becoming dwellers on the earth, but to be used in the work of overcoming every defect in their own characters and in helping others, by example and personal effort, to see the beauty of holiness. God has a people upon the earth who in faith and holy hope are tracing down the roll of fast-fulfilling prophecy and are seeking to purify their souls by obeying the truth, that they may not be found without the wedding garment when Christ shall appear. . . .
The signs foretold in prophecy are fast fulfilling around us. This should arouse every true follower of Christ to zealous action."
Maranatha, pg. 92.
"The humblest workers, in cooperation with Christ, may touch chords whose vibrations shall ring to the ends of the earth and make melody throughout eternal ages." The Ministry of Healing, pg. 159.
Today Dick Duerksen came and spoke at our school. He talked about serving, about being a servant. He talked about going to Haiti, Africa, Peru. He shared some amazing experiences that people he had recently met shared with him. Experiences of God speaking to them directly. About seeing Jesus' face. About divine appointments.
I want that. I miss being on the cutting edge of God's work. I want so bad to have God talk to me. For some reason I think it would somehow affirm my walk with Him. It would somehow make me feel that maybe I was doing a couple things right.
Deep down inside, I know that God speaking directly doesn't make me any more holy, or spiritual. But I still want it. I would feel closer to Him.
And yet, I have to remind myself that He can speak just as clearly through His word, and providential leadings. I am trying to learn to listen. To be in tune.
It doesn't come naturally to me. The world around me, and my own words, usually drown out His voice.
I'm not sure how the two quotes fit in with anything I just wrote. They both really spoke to me, so I just felt like including them.
"Press with determination in the right direction, and circumstances will be your helpers, not your hindrances." COL 332.
"Into the city of God there will enter nothing that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a growing distaste for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and refinement of thought and manner.
But the words of Jesus . . . have a deeper meaning--not merely pure in the sense in which the world understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike."
I picked up these two quotes from a favorite little site of mine today. They really spoke to my heart. ...true in the hidden purposes of the heart.
So foreign to me.
2 Peter 1:4 also comes to mind right now. I can be really bad about keeping goals, especially (sadly, I know) spiritual ones, but for this week, I want to put two new verses to memory. That's not much, I know. But I want to start small.
I use to have a whole chapter in James memorized, besides the usual Psalms 23, etc. But since my mid teens, I have slacked off, and I can tell the difference. My brain isn't as sharp with scripture coming to mind as it use to be.
Time to change that. Way past time. God needs me to do my part.
When do you decide to stop pursuing something when it doesn't 'fit' you? When do you decide to give something up, when it doesn't ring true to who you are? Or do you even give it up? When do you stick to that something until forever, or walk away from it, even though there's nothing else to walk to (that you can see)? When do you choose to keep at something, even when you know it isn't you?
Or really what I'm asking is, when (if at all) is it right to do any of the above? Is it okay?
Is it okay to walk away from something simply on the basis of it not fitting your personality, your innermost 'you', or are you just being selfish?
I'm pursuing a career that requires certain things of any (good) nurse to do, that are quite contrary to my personality. Not so much contrary actually. It's just that my personality feels limited and confined in a sense.
No, it's not that it either. I can't explain it. I tried explaining it earlier to some people, and it just wasn't working.
It's such a hard thing. Because every week, at the very least, I come face to face to these questions, because I have clinicals. The other days, I can push them back...but on this one day, I can't.
I want to feel true to myself. And yet, how much of "being true" to oneself is just another way of just saying "I don't like this".
But even if that's what I'm saying, shouldn't that tell me something? Because I know that it's not that I'm lazy, or uncaring, for not feeling okay about working as a nurse. It's not that at all. In fact, I think I care too much sometimes. I care too much about the moms, the babies, if they are in pain, if they are thirsty, if they slept good, if they are lonely, etc etc etc. all the time. I'm too aware of the little nuances, from the lonely housekeeper man stepping into the room who needs someone to talk to, to the wealthy guest who is sitting in the room, who seemingly lacks nothing, and yet has an emptiness in her eyes that I want to take time to find out about, and somehow make go away.
A little stress can be good, but a lot of stress, is not good (for me). And that's what I feel that nursing has to offer me. It's not the physical stress, the busy kind of stress, but the relational stress that it causes me that is bothering me.
I am so much of an introvert. I am a helper, not a leader. I am independent. I can work on my own just fine. I can work with people too. I love working with people. I just take way more into my brain about everything and everyone around me than most of the others. And so I get mentally exhausted a lot faster/easier than most.
It is very hard to explain my thoughts right now.
I think I am done for the night.
When do I -or do I not?
I was robbed of an hour of sleep today. And it doesn't feel good.
If there's one thing that sums up my college experience, besides lots and lots of $ signs, I think it would have to be sleep deprivation.
Spring break has come and gone, which is pretty sad. I unfortuanately got sick for most of my break, but I have to say it is better that I got sick during break than while I had classes. And even though I was sick, I still was able to get a lot done, which I'm really thankful for. I think it was my favorite spring break, simply because I was somewhat industrious, and made the best use of my time. I cleaned out and organized a bunch of stuff in the house, and even got some assignments done for school ahead of time. Each break, I have all sorts of plans to use my time wisely, and be productive, but it rarely ever happens like that. This time was different though, and I'm so glad.
I learned a lot during this break. About myself, about life, about spiritual growth, about time management, about perseverance,and about trusting in God.
I still have so much to learn, and am looking forward to what the rest of the school year holds for me. I know I wont always willingly learn the lessons that come my way, but I plan on really trying.
It can be overwhelming to see how little I know about spirituality, about being like Christ, about being unselfish. But I plan on redeeming the time.
One thing that has really helped me over break was prayer. I'm not very good about praying, but spending just a little more time than usual has made a huge difference for me this break, and I encourage any one who may happen to read this to try it for themselves.
I've also spent some time reading up on the lives of the Waldensians, and I have been so blessed. I grew up on their stories, and it has been so refreshing to get reaquainted with them.
Another subject that has recently been on my heart is purity. I will have to write more on that later, but yeah, when I really stopped and evaluated my life, I realized that I am not as pure as I often given myself credit for, and that purity of heart means a lot more than what I really think.
Trust and surrender are two other areas that God has been working on me with recently.
Probably most of all though, I realized that growth in gace, growing up in Christ, is a long process, that it doesn't magically happen...This concept I tend to forget quite often.
I will try to write about each of the various topics I hit at greater length some other time. I have so much to share.
(I'm not sure what my point was in writing what I did...Maybe I was just trying to recap 10 days in 10 minutes for myself or something. In anycase, it's fun writing to myself here.)
So here's to another 2 months of school with God, learning to trust Him more, and to surrender every moment of every day.
"Why has the Lord so long delayed His coming? The whole host of heaven is waiting to fulfill the last work for this lost world, and yet the work waits. It is because the few who profess to have the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps, have not become burning and shining lights in the world. It is because missionaries are few. . . . Every week counts one week less, every day one day nearer to the appointed time of the judgment. Alas that so many have only a spasmodic religion--a religion dependent upon feeling and governed by emotion. "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." Then see that you have the oil of grace in your hearts. The possession of this will make every difference with you in the judgment. " ~EGW~ Maranatha - Page 55
I came across this devotional thought fromthis siteand it really spoke to me. I want that oil of grace. I don't want to have a spasmodic religion. I am so thankful that tomorrow is a new day, and that today was a day of learning, of growing.
"The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us." MB 115.
I got the little quote from this dear site today.
This past week, I have learned about forgiveness in a much deeper way than before... I wronged someone, and the uncertainty of whether or not I was forgiven by them hung over me for over a week. Not knowing if you're forgiven by someone is really tough.
Harder than I ever remembered it before... It might've been because I was truly sorry for what I did, and really wanted that forgiveness. It might've been because I had stuck my pride on the chopping block by apologizing that same day.
In anycase, I realized in a very painful way how hopeless we are as humans are without God's forgiveness... I realized that God doesn't guarantee that we'll be forgiven by the humans in our lives, but that it is still our duty to seek and ask for that forgiveness--to say we're sorry. I also realized how important it is to not stumble and fall in the first place... because some wrongs can never fully be righted. Some consequences stick around, no matter how sorry we may be.
God reminded me of how easily it is to sin when we stop putting others before ourselves. If I had not been seeking my own good, I would never have wronged the other person. Being selfish bears weighty consequences, and some of them we wont fully realize until all things are made known.
I was also reminded of the importance of not carrying guilt with me, once I have done my part to make things right. And to this day, that has been the hardest lessen to grasp. I am still working on that one.
Guilt is one of those things that has been with me for as long as I can remember.
And half the time, I am beginning to realize, it shouldn't have been with me.
It is hard letting go of something you've spent a lot of time with. It takes time to adjust. To accept when you don't feel worthy of accepting.
So this week, I have been taught some very important lessons. Lessons of forgiveness. Lessons of forgiving, lessons of letting go of guilt, lessons of doing things right the first time around,and most of all, lessons of learning to let God's forgiveness be more than enough.
I wonder what God thinks of my tendency to fail Him just at the moment when He needs His glory revealed through me the most.. I marvel at His patience. At His ability to make things right, even after I have made everything wrong. The weekend after I wronged the individual, I went to Church with my mom,and believe it or not, the sermon was on forgiveness. It was then that I began to realize how big this whole forgiveness thing is. It was probably one of the best sermons I have ever heard. I am going to try to get a copy of it.
Anyhow, the Holy Spirit definitely spoke to me, and for that I forever grateful.
This past week, I have never felt as forgiven, and at the same time, I really felt the magnitude of the consequences that my choices carry. It is a scary thing, to stand guilty, with no excuse.
But it is a beautiful thing, to remember that our High Priest has made a way. "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." ~Zechariah 3:1-7
Todays Thought for the Day fromhere was too good not to share. "Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue." DA 668.
Finally, after years of trying, I was able to give blood for the first time yesterday. I hadn't eaten anything yet when I gave around 1pm, so I felt pretty nasty the rest of the day. But I'm so glad I was able to at long last share my blood.
It's a wonderful thing, to be at peace, even when you don't have answers. It frees you. From fear, from uncertainty, from expectations. It lifts the burden from your back, and you can suddenly breathe easier. Peace helps you stand taller, and step surer, even when you can't see your next step. It helps you smile. There's nothing in the whole wide world that can compare to it. Peace is missing in so many peoples lives, and the sad things is, we've gotten so use to it. We've gotten use to seeing faces without that warm blanket of deep down peace on their countenances. Hopefully not completely use to it though. I saw one of those faces recently. There was no peace. And my heart skipped a beat, I felt a pang of fear, because this person is dearly loved. I'm worried for them, but I don't know how to say it. I want to plead with them to please, open their eyes. I want to ask them why they don't look at peace to me. But I don't know how. They are older than me, and their new found way of living-of talking, especially-stumps me, because it sounds so much more logical than the mumble-jumble emotional words I can barely keep myself from blurting out to them. I feel a tiny bit how Adam must have felt, when he was trying to keep Eve from biting further into the apple of lies. I don't want to lose my friend, but more than anything, I don't want my friend to lose the One Friend that really matters. All I can do is pray, and ask God to anoint my lips, if He wants me to speak. I would want my friend to speak, to cry out to me, to warn me of the dangers of my present choices--especially if I knew that there was little time left. I know what living without peace is like, and I shudder at the thought of the end result of turning from the peace that has been offered time and time again. It's the look in the eyes, that makes my heart feel cold, and when I leave their presence, I have to spend some time in prayer, to help my heart warm up again. Unfortunately, this look in their eyes didn't appear over night... I've seen it slowly progress. Little changes are hard to confront... But this time, I sense a complete shift. No longer subtle warning signs that are easy to ignore, but flashing red lights... maybe the flashing red lights were always there, from that first little choice, and only now have I allowed God to open my eyes. Whatever the case may be, I want more than anything to warn this dear individual, who has a big influence on certain other dear ones. But alas, quite possibly my number one fault/flaw/weakness, is confrontation/communication. I like to tell myself that it isn't my place, considering my spiritual inexperience and shortcomings. I like to think that if they were related to me, I wouldn't hesitate to say something, but since they aren't the responsibility does not lie with me. I don't want to overreact. So tonight I keep praying. For now, that is all I can do. Just like God opened my eyes to this dear ones condition, I will keep asking Him to show me what to do next. In the end, he wants the dear one to be at peace and safe in His care more than I ever could. And He is doing something, even now, to draw them back to His heart. Luke 15:7
Today's devotional reading, from In Heavenly Places, entitled "In The Hands Of The Potter" is too good to go without mentioning. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. I'll share a little bit of it here. " The excellence of a genuine connection with Christ comes with obedience to the words, ' Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. . . .' The worker who has this experience has an intense longing to know the fullness of the love that passes knowledge. His capacity to enjoy the love of God constantly increases. Learning daily in the school of Christ he has a constantly increasing capacity to gasp the meaning of the sublime truths that are as far-reaching as eternity. . . . He realizes that he is a material with which God is working, and that he must be passive in the Master's hands. Trials come to him, for unless tested by trials and disappointment he would never know his lack of wisdom and experience. If he seeks the Lord with humility and trust, every trial will work for his good, He may sometimes seem to fail, but his supposed failure to reach the place where he hoped to stand may be God's way of bringing his advancement. He thinks that he has failed, but his supposed failure means a better knowledge of himself and a firmer trust in God. . . . He may make mistakes, but he learns not to repeat these mistakes. United with Christ, the True vine, he is enabled to bear fruit to the glory of God. . . . The Lord desires us to be meek and lowly and contrite, yet filled with the assurance that comes from a knowledge of the will of God. He 'hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. . . . Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace . . .' (2 Tim. 1:7-9) "~ In Heavenly Places, pg 28~ Okay, so I shared almost the whole devotional thought. I was just really blessed. Also, todays first from biblegatway.com was perfect too. Matthew 7:7,8.
This week has been especially trying, for a variety of reasons. Tonight, as I welcome in the Sabbath, these words straight from heaven encourage me like nothing else in this world ever could. God is sooo merciful. He performed some amazing miracles on my behalf, and in the behalf of others. Probably more than anything, he showed me things about myself that weren't necessarily music to my ears, but things I needed to realize. I wish I could go into detail right now. Maybe another day.
My heart is really full right now. Full of awe, full of gratitude. I have so much to say, but I don't know how. All I can say is, my heart is full.
There's no time left, to look back, and to wonder. There's no time left, to wish and whine. There's only time to win and to work. Only time for reaching up and reaching out. No time for wasting in slumber or stupor. Only time for waking and for weeping, Weeping for those who do not know, and working. Working to bring light to those in darkness, Hope to all who stand looking down. Healing to all who are broken. Peace to all in terror. Freedom to all in bondage. There's no time left for wasting, Only time for winning.
I survived my first day of a new semester, and I had to sit down to spend a little quiet time at the end of a very hectic day. This is what part of what I read: "When our minds are constantly dwelling upon the matchless of of God to the fallen race, we begin to know God, to become acquainted with Him. ..." ~EGW~ "In Heavenly Places" pg. 11
Those words,constantly dwelling.... Begin to know God... It's just the beginning.