Thursday, 27 December 2012

THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Consider the themes of the sixty-six books:

In Genesis, He is the Creator God.
In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.
In Leviticus, He is your sanctification.
In Numbers, He is your guide.
In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher.
In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror.
In Judges, He gives victory over enemies.
In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your lover, your redeemer.
In I Samuel, he is the root of Jesse;
In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David.
In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords
In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your intercessor and High Priest.
In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship.
In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.
In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies.
In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles, but has the power to do something about them.
In Psalms, He is your song-and your reason to sing.
In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully.
In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity.
In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover, your Rose of Sharon.
In Isaiah, He is the mighty counselor, the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and more. In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul.
In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one upon whom you can depend.
In Ezekiel, He is your wheel in the middle of a wheel-the one who assures that dry, dead bones will come alive again.
In Daniel, He is the ancient of days, the everlasting God who never runs out of time.
In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back-even when you have abandoned Him.
In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble.
In Amos, He is the husbandman, the one you can depend on to stay by your side.
In Obadiah, He is Lord of the Kingdom.
In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back within His will.
In Micah, He is judge of the nation.
In Nahum, He is the jealous God.
In Habakkuk, He is the Holy One.
In Zephaniah, He is the witness.
In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies
In Zechariah, He is Lord of Hosts.
In Malachi, He is the messenger God.


In Matthew, He is king of the Jews.
In Mark, He is the servant.
In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
In John, He is the Son of God.
In Acts, He is Saviour of the world.
In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
In I Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.
In II Corinthians, He is the triumphant one, giving victory.
In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.
In Ephesians, He is head of the Church.
In Philippians, He is your joy.
In Colossians, He is your completeness.
In I Thessalonians, He is your hope.
In II Thessalonians, He is your patience and discipline.
In I Timothy, He is your faith.
In II Timothy, He is your stability.
In Titus, He is the truth.
In Philemon, He is your benefactor.
In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
In James, He is the power behind your faith.
In I Peter, He is your example.
In II Peter, He is your purity.
In I John, He is your life.
In II John, He is your pattern.
In III John, He is your motivation.
In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
In the Revelation, He is your coming King.
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

PHOTOS: Baptisms

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the baptism of 4 men at Lavington Baptist Church..............


Matthew

Michael

David

Gerthart

Friday, 30 November 2012

Are We Too BUSY?

Satan called a worldwide convention.

In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep the Christians from assembling with the church.  We cannot keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.  We cannot even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

So let them go to their churches; let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels.  Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"  "How shall we do this?" shouted his angels. "Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes! To occupy their minds," he answered.  "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. 

Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"  Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice.  Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ."  "Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards.  Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services, and false hopes. Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so their husbands will believe that external beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. That will fragment those families quickly!"  "Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week.  Don't let them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead."

Keep them busy, busy, busy!

And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions. Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning; but crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.  Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.  It will work!  It was quite a convention. The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get more busy and more rushed, going here and there.

I guess the question is: Has the devil been successful at his scheme?  You be the judge! Does "busy" mean:

B-eing
U-nder
S-atan's
Y-oke?

Are we too BUSY?!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

VIDEO: That's My King! by SM Lockridge

video

That's MY King, too!!!  Is He your King?  If He's not, please make Him your King before it's too late!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

I have decided to follow Jesus

Although the hymn “I have Decided to Follow Jesus” is well-known amongst Christians, the history of the hymn may not quite as well-known.

The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, NE India, who was converted to Christianity along with his family in the mid-1800’s through the efforts of a Welsh missionary.

When told by the village chief to renounce his faith, the convert declared, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”  In response to threats to his family, he continued, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.”

His wife was then killed, and he was executed while singing, “The cross before me, the world behind me.”  This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village.


What a challenge it is for the Christians of today!  How many of us would be able to say FROM THE HEART, “I have decided to follow Jesus. Though no one joins me, still I will follow. The cross before me, the world behind me”, even we know it will cost us our lives?

For the Christians living here in Australia, we don’t face the same persecution as many other Christians in other countries do – like having to literally give up our life for the Lord, but we do face a different sort of persecution……..a more subtle form of persecution that will do us more harm than if people were outright killing us…..it is the persecution of gradually wearing down our spiritual senses so we become deadened to spiritual things, and then we are slowly pulled into the world.   THIS is what we are facing today, and we need just as much courage to stand up and say “I have decided to follow Jesus. Though no one joins me, still I will follow.  The cross before me, the world behind me” in the world that we are living in, because we will get mocked, and even rejected because we ARE Christians.

But don’t let the possibility of being mocked, rejected, etc scare you from telling people that you ARE a Christian……don’t hide your light from the world, but set it upon a hill (Matthew 5:16), because the Lord will bless you for it, and the rewards we receive from the Lord are FAR greater than anything we will receive here on earth.

So, will you stand up and tell people that you have decided to follow Jesus, and that you will continue to follow Him even if no one else joins you?
--Bethany

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A Carrot, An Egg and A Cup of Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee (we all fall into one of these categories)

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water.

Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

POEM - Take Me Deeper, Lord

Take me deeper, Lord take me deep,
no more just skimming the surface
no more being shallow or superficial
no more just giving You lip service.

Take me deeper, Lord take me deep,
take me to the centre of Your life
no more lack of spiritual power
take me out of self-imposed strife.

Take me deeper, Lord take me deep,
take me to where You're in control
no more self-centred desires
take me to where I surrender it all.

Take me deeper, Lord take me deep,
take me to the depth of Your heart
no more not trusting You or doubting
take from me what keeps us apart.

Take me deeper, Lord take me deep,
take me to where we are immersed
no more wandering or roving around
take me to where I'll put You first.

Take me deeper, Lord take me deep,
deeper more, deeper yet, deeper still
take me all the way down with You
until I rise to Your perfect will.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

After a few of the usual Sunday evening, the church’s pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and before he gave his sermon for the evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the congregation that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, and the elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak:

"A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast when a fast-approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized." The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were - for the first time since the service began - looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story: "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make a most excruciating decision of his life...to which boy he would throw the other end of the line. He only had seconds to make his decisions.
"The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves. As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’, he threw out the life line to his son’s friend By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously awaiting for the next words to come out of the old ministers’ mouth. "The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore he sacrificed his son to save his son’s friend. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take hold of the life line that He is throwing out to you in this service." With that, the old ma turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.

The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within a few minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. "That was a nice story!" politely stated one of the boys, "but I don’t think it was very realistic for the father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian." "Well, you’ve got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible.

A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said: "It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been for God to give up His Son for me. You see....I was that father, and your pastor is my son’s friend."
--Author Unknown

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Book of Ephesians - Part 3

Chapter 5:
v2 - We need to live as Christ lived - WITH love and IN love.  Being willing to deny ourselves for the sake of others because we love them.

v20 - We should be thankful for EVERYTHING in our lives - "giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL THINGS" - good things, "bad" things - EVERYTHING.


Chapter 6:
v8 - The Lord WILL bless us when we do good and obey Him.  It doesn't matter who we are, or where, or what, God can - and will - still bless us.

v11 - "put on the WHOLE armour of God".  It is ONLY when we are wearing the WHOLE armour of God that we can withstand the devil and his tricks.  Even if it's only ONE piece missing, we will be able to fall.  We must have the WHOLE, complete set of armour on or none at all.

*   *   *

I know that this is REALLY short, but I trust that the blessings that you might get from this will cover any disappointment.  :)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Book of Ephesians - Part 2

Here I am FINALLY with Part 2 of my study of the Book of Ephesians.

Chapter 3:
v8 - "The unsearchable riches of Christ".  Christ has got so many riches laid in store for us - both physical and spiritual ones - that we could never find out about all of them....."all spiritual blessings" (1:3)

v17 - "Rooted and grounded in love."  True, Biblical love is the basis for Christianity and we need to have so much of that love that it's like we've been planted in it.

v20 - "Able to do exceeding abundantly above".  God can - and will - work in ways that we cannot even BEGIN to imagine - "ALL that we could ask or think".  God cannot be limed, nor WIL He be limited to our human restrictions!

Chapter 4:
v1 - "Walk worthy of the vocation".  God has called me to a special plan and purpose and I need to make sure that I walk worthy of that plan and purpose.  I need to walk and live so as to please and glorify the Lord.

v7 - We have all been given grace - be thankful for it and don't abuse it!!

v16 - Like a temple, we are also a body.  Everybody is SOME part of the body.  Some parts of the body look totally useless, but they ARE useful and are there for a purpose.  If it wasn't there, we wouldn't be able to do some things.

v22-24 - We need to get rid of the old and replace it with something new and better.  We CANNOT get rid of something - especially in the spiritual life - without replacing it or else we'll become worse off.

v29 - Whenever I talk, I need to stop and think before I say anything...is what I'm about to say edifying and will it build up and encourage whoever I am talking to or is it going to pull them down and discourage them?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Book of Ephesians - Part 1

A few months ago, I was studying the book of Ephesians, and this is what I learnt from Ephesians.  I know that some of the thoughts are rather basic, but they have been a great blessing and encouragement to me.  As I have said to a few friends - it's often the most basic and simple things that mean the most!

I have split this into 3 parts, so it will be in more manageable to read, so come back to read the rest!!!

* * * * *
Chapter 1:
v3 - Christ has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings.  Even before we knew it, He had blessed us!

v4 - Christ chose us, even before the world was even made.  He has wanted us right from the beginning!  There is never a moment in time when He wasn't aware of us, and didn't love us.

v9 - Christ has made the mystery of His will known to us because He wanted us to know it and He was delighted to tell us!

v15 - Do I have love to all the saints?  And can others - especially non-Christians - tell that I have love to all the saints?

v22 - Christ does have dominion over everything because God the Father has already put ALL THINGS under Christ.

Chapter 2:
v1 - We were once dead in sin, but now Christ has made us dead to sin and alive in Him.

v2 - When we were dead in sin, we did things that the world does.  But now we are dead to sin, so we should be doing the opposite to what we used to do.  Are we?  AM I?

v4 - God has a GREAT love for us - far greater than we can even comprehend.

v6 - Since being made alive in Christ, we have been brought into Christ's presence and we are sitting with Him, like we would with friends.  We are no longer strangers with Christ, but friends and companions and we are together - and together ALWAYS!

v8-9 - No matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves; it is God Who does the marvellous work of salvation and we CANNOT do ANYTHING to save ourselves except to believe by faith that Christ died for us and we need to accept it as a precious gift from God because that is what it is!!

v10 - God has already planned that we would be His children and His workmanship and that we would be walking in good works.

v11-13 - We used to be without Christ - "in times past" - "but now"....everything has been changed and we have been brought to Christ by His saving blood and we have been given hope and a reason to live.

v18 - It is by Christ's death that we are able to come unto God - "for throug him".  It is through Him - and only through Him - that ANYTHING happens.

v20-22 - All the believers have been built together to make a beautiful and glorious temple for God to dwell in - there is no section or part that does not match - we ALL fit together PERFECTLY.

* * * * *
Part 2 coming soon!!!

Friday, 20 July 2012

My Commitment

An anonymous Zimbabwean Pastor had this on the wall of his dwelling.  It was found after he was killed......

"I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.

I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colourless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labour by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze or mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He comes.

And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My colours will be clear!"

Friday, 13 July 2012

Isaiah 43:2 - "I will be with thee"

God has promised that He WILL be with me when difficult times come.  He WILL be walking through them with me.  He WILL be there, no matter what!

This verse has brought so much comfort to me, especially in the last 7 months.  A lot of things have happened since the beginning of the year that I never would have dreamed possible.....and some of those things have been quite hard to cope with.  But it has been SO assuring to know that God is with me, and will continue to be with me, whatever I am going through!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

James 1:2 - Count it All Joy

"Count it all Joy"......Be joyful when the Lord allows things into our life, because it is for our good and His glory.  Christ wants us to become more like Him, so He allows us to go through difficult things so He can achieve that goal and glorify Himself in the process.  Christ desires to make us like pure gold, refined in the furnace of affliction.

*   *    *

I have recently done quite a few short studies, which I will be posting on here when I can. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Stay in the Castle

Once upon a time there was a princess that lived in a beautiful palace overlooking a simple but worldly village.  She lived in the castle with her Father, the King, and a handful of faithful servants.  Her Father doted over her, supplying her every need and most all of her wants. Over the years, she blossomed into a beautiful teenage girl, quick-witted, full of laughter and always obedient – but increasingly lonely.
Often, late at night, she would gaze from the window of her room, high in the castle wall, watching the people far away in the streets below.  She would lean towards the gaiety, straining past the sounds of music and laughter, to try and pick out the words of the young people.  No sad, lonely sounds ever reached her ears, and she began to believe that they must be the happiest people in the kingdom.
“Father?” she asked one evening as they worked together on what he called her preparation.  “Do you think that perhaps I might one evening be allowed to attend one of the festivals at the village?  Perhaps just for a short time?”
The old, but wise King laid aside the Book of Lessons and looked upon his daughter with compassion and concern.  “My child, the village below is a worldly place full of sad people.  The sound of merriment that you sometimes hear is their attempt to drown out the emptiness and despair of their lives.  It is best that you stay in the castle.”
Though she loved her Father, it was not the answer she wished.  “But Father, how will I ever meet…I mean…someday I would like to…Oh Father, you are so good to me, and I do so love it here, but at times I get so lonely!”
The King sat back in his chair, his eyes suddenly seeing his daughter not as the little girl she would always be to him, but as the young lady she was becoming.  He then decided.
“It is time that I tell you.”
“Tell me what, Father?”
Standing to his feet, he walked to a window overlooking the countryside to the East.  His eyes fastened onto the King’s Highway, a straight road that passed high above the village and led to the castle gate.
“Shortly after you were born, I foresaw the day when you would need someone special—someone with whom to spend your life.  I set out to search; to visit other castles in the Kingdom; to find a prince for you.  Not just anyone, but that special someone.”
The King turned to look at his Princess, her eyes full of wonderment.
“I have met him.  I know who he is.”
“Oh, Father, where does he live?  When do I get to meet him?”
“He lives far away, but not so far.  In a castle not unlike this one.  He, too, is being prepared as you are—both for the other.  Come stand beside me, my child.”
She walked to where her Father stood by the window.
“See there? That’s the King’s Highway.  When the time is right and not before, he will come on a white steed.  You will know him.”
Then taking her hands into his, he looked into her tear-brimmed eyes.
“Princess.  Never forget you are a child of the King.  You are Royalty.  The one being prepared for you is also of Royal Descent.  Be patient.  Prepare.  And stay in the castle.”
She hugged the King, jumping into his arms, happy now and determined to prepare and wait.  For many months, at night, she looked out her bedroom window, past the village and its sounds to the Highway above, watching and dreaming of the one who would someday come.

*          *          *
A year passed.  Then another.  The dream became harder to envision, and the night sounds of laughter and glee from the village below again began working their way slowly into her thoughts.  It became harder to concentrate on her preparation; harder to be patient.
One morning while taking her breakfast in the Royal Kitchen, a knock was heard at the back door; the door where deliveries were made from the village below.  She waited for one of her Father’s servants to answer, but when none immediately did, she decided to answer it herself.
“Hello,” said the young delivery man as he pulled off his crumbled hat and bowed.  (It was an exaggerated bow, very low and lasting, followed by a winsome laugh.)  She couldn’t help but laugh.
“Delivery for his Royal Highness, the King,” he proclaimed with just the slightest shade of irreverence.  “And my, but I must say that he has hired some lovely kitchen help, a great improvement indeed!”
“Why, thank you, but I’m not the kitchen help,” she replied blushing, “I’m the King’s daughter.”
“I had heard that he had a daughter.  But I was never told how beautiful she was!  Do you live here all alone with your Father?”
“For now.” She replied, thinking briefly of the now fading story her Father had told her.
He carried the supplies past her into the kitchen.  “You ought to come down to the village some night.  The lads would be taken with you!  Lots of friends your age and wonderful parties.”
“Tell me about the village.”
For an hour they talked—talked and laughed.  Every story of the village life seemed so full of humour and excitement!  He acted out the stories he told and sang a village favourite, dancing merrily to the tune.  She could not remember ever laughing so much, and found herself resenting her Father for not allowing her to take part.
“You must come to the village this very night.  The Fall Festival begins, and it is the best time of the year.”
She glanced awkwardly at the closed kitchen door.  “I don’t believe my Father would allow me to attend.”
“Then sneak out after dark.  I will meet you at the bridge this side of the village.  You’ll have a great time!”
“Perhaps,” she hesitated.  “But I can’t promise.”
“I’ll meet you there,” he said, then shut the door and gone before she could answer.
That evening, she sat with her Father in the Great Room, he reading aloud from the Book of Lessons, and she pretending to be listening.  In reality, she was measuring the diminishing light from the setting sun.  The distant music began to loft up from the festival below, her imagination going skyward with it.  It took several moments before she realized that her Father had stopped reading.
“You seem far away tonight.”
She straightened her dress nervously, “No, just tired I think.  Perhaps I should go to bed early.”
“Darling…”
“Really, Father, I’m fine.”  She said, quickly getting to her feet.  “Good night,” she said back over her shoulder as she scampered up the stairs.
Two hours later, when it was believed that all in the castle were sleeping, a lithe, young figure stole out the kitchen door and disappeared into the night.

*          *          *
Three months later, a slightly older, but much changed Princess marched into the Great Room to announce to her Father the decision she had made on the previous night.  Her midnight visit had increased in frequency since that first visit a lifetime ago.  The village night life was more exciting than she had ever dared imagine.  The people, though sometimes crude, laughed and sang and danced and chased each night into dawn.  They were living!  Living now!  Not just waiting for a dream that might never come true.
The young man that had met her that first night had treated her, well, like royalty!  In a hundred ways he had made her feel special.  Then last night, the greatest of all nights of her life, he had proposed to her.  She clutched the ring he had slipped onto her finger tightly in her palm, drawing courage from the pain it produced.
“Father, I have something to tell you.”
He sat in his chair, the Book of Lessons on his lap, its pages freshly stained with his tears.  She almost lost her resolve.
“I’ve met a young man.  I know I shouldn’t have gone without your permission, but…anyway, we are going to be married—right away!”
The King shut the Book and stared out towards the Highway.  “I watched you go each night, wishing you back.”  Then turning His eyes to her and through her.  “This castle has never been a prison.  This castle is a decision.  I want you to know that if you leave here, things will never be the same again.  My love for you will never change, but everything—everything—else will.”
She wavered for a moment, but only a moment, her head filled now with the village ideas.
“I know that this is what is right for me.  He may not be Royalty, but I love him.”  And with that she left the castle.

*          *          *
She woke with the dawn, not knowing that it was a year to the day since her departure.  Her back hurt.  “Just part of being in your last month of pregnancy,” the village women had told her.  Rising with difficulty, her husband muttered something in his half drunken state.  He had come home only hours before and they had argued—again.  Oh, well, after the baby is born maybe things will get better.
There was still a house to clean and chores to do.  Picking up a worn, straw broom, she walked outside to sweep the front porch.  Their house was small.  It sat at the edge of town, not far from the bridge where he had waited for her that first night.  Her eyes followed the path up to her Father’s Castle.  The King had still found little ways to show her that he had not forgotten her; that she was still loved.  But what he had said was now true.  Nothing was the same.
Her eyes wandered to the East to spend a few minutes watching the sun rise, a simple pleasure that she shared alone each morning.  Its rays almost blinded her, distorting the trees and hills beyond.  Squinting against its brightness, she returned to the job at hand, first glancing absently up the High Road.
Her heart seemed to stop, gripped as if by a strong hand.  The broom quivered in her grasp.  Far down the road came a white horse, its rider sitting straight and tall.  He seemed to be coming straight out of the sun.  The horse quickened its pace as it neared the castle, sensing the excitement of its master.  Her heart began to beat again, now loud and in rhythm to the pounding hoofs.  He reined his mount to a stop outside the castle’s front gate.  She could not make out his features, but his stance spoke of honour and character.  He knocked on the front door – her front door not that long ago.  The King stepped out to greet him, and she watched as they conversed; watched as the King spoke with his hands, and then pointed toward the village.  Involuntarily, she took a step back into the shadow of the porch.
The noble Prince listened carefully, his strong shoulders sagging in disappointment and sadness.  Shaking the King’s hand and receiving from him a consoling hug, he mounted his horse.  He looked toward her village home, his eyes finding hers in the shadow.  For a moment they both stared.  Then, pointing his mount back toward the sun, he rode away into its brightness.
She felt the hot tears on her arms and hands long before it occurred to her that she was crying.  Nothing, she thought, will ever be the same.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

VIDEO: Amazing Pianist

This girl has got a deformed hand, and yet she plays the piano BEAUTIFULLY!!!

video

Monday, 18 June 2012

PHOTOS: My 21st party - Book Characters

{Rupunzel - Chloe Clarke}

{Little Red Riding Hood - Me}

{Scarlott O'Heara - Gabriella Kompos}

{Robin Hood - David Thompson}

{Mario the Plumber - Tim Jackel}

{Everybody}

{The Cake}

{Cutting the Cake}

{Me with the Cake-Makers - Rhonda Schilg,
Olivia Schilg & Monique Cann}

 {Gift Table}

 {Food Table}

{Buffalo Bill and Little Red Riding Hood
- my brother Matthew and I}

{Ned Kelly - Andrew Schilg}

{Florence Nightingale, Meg March, Rupunzel, Little Red
Riding Hood & Queen Victoria}

Thursday, 7 June 2012

AN IMPORTANT LETTER FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN WOMAN TO READ

Even though I know this letter is pointed towards married women, single women can still learn a LOT from this in preparation for their own marriage one day.
*      *       *
Dear Christian Woman,
You've probably been to a workshop or have read that, in a relationship, women are looking for romance and intimacy, and men are looking for respect.
On behalf of the man in your life, I’d like to tell you just how important respect is to us.
From the situation comedies The Honeymooners in the 1950s to The King of Queens today, we men have been depicted as buffoons. That may make for funny television shows, but in real life, it hurts. We may do goofy or immature things, but we’re not clowns, and even though we may not show our feelings very often, we do have feelings.
Respect from you means everything to us. We’re struggling. We’re trying to live up to your high expectations for us, but it’s not easy. When you compare us to your friends’ husbands or boyfriends to point out our shortcomings, it makes us feel unappreciated. We can’t be someone else. We’re just trying, with God’s help, to live up to our own potential.
We don’t always get the respect we deserve on our job. When the boss really wants to come down on us, he or she treats us with disrespect. Sometimes it’s not overt, but we still get the message. We men identify so strongly with our jobs that a tough day can leave us feeling angry.
When we try to explain that to you, don’t downplay it by telling us we’re taking it too personally. One of the reasons we don’t share our feelings with you very often is that when we do, you may laugh at us or tell us we’re being silly. We don’t treat you that way when you’re upset. How about showing the Golden Rule toward us?
You want us to confide in you, yet you tell us something your friend told you about her husband. She shouldn't have told you in the first place. When you get together with your friends or sisters, don’t betray our confidence. When the other women are making fun of their husbands’ or male friends’ eccentricities, please don’t join in. We want you to be loyal to us. We want you to build us up. We want you to respect us.
We know that women mature faster than men, and we’re jealous of that. When we act immaturely—and we do pretty often—please don’t scold us, and please don’t laugh at us. Nothing damages a man’s self-confidence quicker than being laughed at. If you treat us with kindness and understanding, we will learn from your example.
We’re doing the best we can. When we men compare ourselves to Jesus and see how short we come up, it makes us feel very discouraged. We wish we were more patient and generous and compassionate, but we’re just not there yet, and our progress seems agonizingly slow.
For some of us, we can’t even measure up to our father. Maybe we can’t measure up to your father either, but we don’t need you reminding us of that. Believe me, we’re all too aware of our shortcomings.
We want a loving, fulfilling relationship as much as you do, but often we don’t know how to go about it. We know, too, that men are not as perceptive as women, so if you could gently lead us, that will help.
Lots of times we’re unsure of what you want. Our culture tells us men should be successful and wealthy, but for many of us, life hasn't worked out that way, and there are lots of days when we feel like a failure. We need your loving reassurance that those things aren't your priorities. We need you to tell us that it’s our heart that you want most, not a house full of material things.
More than anything else, we want you to be our best friend. We need to know that when we tell you something private, you won’t repeat it. We need you to sense our moods and be forgiving of them. We need you to laugh with us and genuinely enjoy our time together.
If there’s one thing we've learned from Jesus, it’s that mutual kindness is crucial to a good relationship. We want you to be proud of us. We desperately want you to admire us and look up to us. We’re trying hard to be the man you want us to be.
That’s what respect means to us. Can you give us that? If you can, we'll love you more than you ever could have imagined.
Signed,
The Man in Your Life

Monday, 4 June 2012

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you. Instead, He’s opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

POEM: Single-Hearted Virgins

I heard Him say, “Be single-hearted, My Bride.
The applause and shame of men despise.
Care not at all what they think and say,
Place thy eyes on Me: I will not delay.
Break at My Feet alone thy spikenard jar,
I want thy heart from Me not afar.
Incline to Me thy intimate thoughts;
Embrace the Narrow Road that is rough
For My Love is far better than wine;
For thou art Mine, and I am thine.
Run to Me despite what thy enemies tell,
I have crushed them under My feet; they all fell.
My Blood will cover thee in and out of need,
It will empower thee for multitudes to feed.
Examine My Word to find Me alone,
Each new day let Me rule in thy heart’s throne.
Be not afraid, I uphold thee in My Right Hand;
I am the One who will make thee stand.
My Grace, Love, and Peace have already sufficed;
I am thy Lover, thy Lord;
I am thy Christ.
Deny thy interests, give Me thy life;
I long to make thee a gracious Wife.”

The Single-Hearted Virgins were bought with a price;
Their affection and interest are for
the Risen Christ.
With undivided heart they delight in His Name;
To be His and His alone they are not ashamed.
In Adullam’s Cave they have joined their King;
In being hunted and despised for His sake they rejoice and sing.
There they are made ready for the fight,
Being freshly anointed with the Captain’s Might.
In pain and purging they cleave to the Spirit’s Sword;
In the Lord’s strength and grace they march forward.
The Lamb’s righteousness is their cloak,
And only in the Cross they dare to boast.
They become Mary sitting at Jesus’ Feet,
And following only where the Spirit leads.
With effectual fervent prayers they intercede;
Building up broken walls, standing for the least.
They do not indulge under a chapel’s bell,
But spend themselves within an yard from hell.
In the bedrock of unchangeable Truth they stand
Immovable and shielded by the Almighty Hand.
And this is the Single-Hearted Virgins’ cry:
“Give the Glory due to the Triune God on high!”

Monday, 28 May 2012

Jimmy's Last Wish

The Doctor walked into the room where little Jimmy lay. He knew it wouldn't be long before the young boy would be taken away. He laid his hand on the frail boy's forehead.
He knew little Jimmy was in a lot of pain, but still he had a smile. The doctor couldn’t understand why?Slowly the little boy opened his eyes.
He said, "Doctor if you had the chance, would you trade places with me today?" The Doctor didn’t know how to answer and kept silent as he knew he would not want to trade places with the boy. Jimmy said, "Doctor if I had the chance, I wouldn’t trade places with you."
Jimmy said, "How old are you Doctor, how many souls have you won?" The Doctor bowed his head, he had to admit not even one. The little boy said, "I have won 9 souls in all. But I just had a birthday and now I’m 10, I wish that I could save just one more before I die and go to heaven, that would be one soul saved for each year of my life."
The Doctor left the hospital with a very heavy heart - all he was trying to save were bodies; this little boy was saving the only part of people that really counts - their souls. Around midnight, he got a call that Jimmy’s condition was worse, he rushed over to be with Jimmy. The nurse met him at the door and told him that he was too late...Jimmy had already died. She said "Before he died, he left a message just for you. He said ‘tell my friend the doctor, I have gone to be with Jesus and some one else will have work on saving him, I didn’t have enough time.’"
The doctor walked into the room where little Jimmy’s body laid, he bowed his head to pray, with tears streaming down his face, the nurse heard him say "Jimmy, I couldn’t do anything to save you, it was you that done the saving here tonight, I am # 10, Jesus granted your last wish and allowed you to save me too...I know Jesus now."
 
Original Author Unknown, rewritten by Johnny lee Hall