Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Choose You This Day…A Testimony of God's Grace

In every life there comes a time of decision, a time to consider what God has for us, and choose once and for all, whom we will serve. This time came for me when I was 15. I had just started piano teacher training, and, although I was considered a “good kid”, I was inwardly very rebellious. God gave my piano teacher a burden for my spiritual growth, and she began to give me books to read as teacher training that dealt with some of the many “issues” I had. As I read the first one, I found that many of the principles I was learning from it applied to daily life. I tried it for a week, until the novelty of it all wore off, and then dropped it. Then I started to read another book, which showed me a biblical vision for family life and relationships that I had never considered before.

The more I read, the more I began to be convicted about my relationship with and attitude toward my father. I knew I ought to act upon that conviction, but my sinful, prideful heart was unwilling to let that happen. As the weeks went by, and I read more and more, I realized that I had a choice to make. Either I ignore the things I had read and the Scripture behind them, or I fully surrender to God’s leading and take the first step toward mending the relationship with my father.

I struggled for a little longer, but finally decided to act upon God’s leading. I had done much to distance myself from my family, and especially from my dad, so it was a long road that I had set out on. I had so rejected my father’s love and protection, that it was several years before I had earned back his trust and mended the relationship. It was the hardest and most humbling thing I have ever done, for, although my teacher could see a difference, and encouraged me, I had not told anyone about my task. I was not alone, however, and during this time I found my Heavenly Father closer than ever before, and through my burden for my earthly father, God taught me much about Himself.

But before God could do this work in my heart, I had to make the choice so well spoken by Joshua of old: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve…” (Joshua 24:15) Before I made that choice, serving God in that way seemed too difficult and “boring”, but though it was a hard thing God asked of me, He was faithful to help me through it.

That decision, that small first step, was the foundation of a beautiful and precious relationship with God that has grown dearer ever since. If I had at that point said no, and chosen to reject God’s word and will for my life, I would have ended up a miserable, rebellious, angry woman with a totally ruined life. My obedience in that instance gave God the opportunity to do other things in my heart and life which have shaped me into a completely different person than I was.
God had to bring me to the place where just pleasing people was not enough. Being good for the sake of gaining favor with those around me did not satisfy, and although outwardly I seemed to be a “good kid”, inwardly I was a rebellious, angry, selfish, spoiled little girl. It is only by God’s grace that I have come thus far, and I have very far yet to go, but God is faithful!

"...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The Snowdrop, though of cold, wet winter born,
Yet also belongs to the warm, bright spring.
E'en though she's waxed old, bedraggled and torn
Before the bright day of spring's christening.
For, while the cold, stormy weather she braves,
So sweetly enduring the wind and rain
Bright hope she brings as she cheerfully waves
Proclaiming that spring is coming again.
So may I be, who, born of earth belong
Yet to Heaven, my bright eternal home!
May I likewise spread hope to those who long
The streets of Heaven with Jesus to roam.
For Christ returns any day for His own,
To take us up to our eternal home!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Truly Worthwhile

The last week or so I have been analyzing the way I spend my time. Even with all my extra time, I was not accomplishing anything worthwhile, and I knew something needed to be changed. So, I began to think about how I spent my time. Thanks to God's working through my years of piano teacher training, I have enough self-discipline that procrastinating on homework has not been an issue so far. I was completing my homework, but not accomplishing much else during the day, which was discouraging.

In the midst of evaluating how I was spending my time, I came across a transcript of a radio broadcast by John MacArthur called, “Making the Hard Decisions Easy”, which was very thought-provoking. (If you’re interested in reading it, go to: In this sermon, MacArthur gives ten questions to help one to know if the things one is spending time on are truly worthwhile. Between that and the challenges at the ladies’ retreat I went to this weekend, the Lord really started to show me some areas in which I need to be more faithful with my time.

By God’s grace, the issue for me is not so much whether the things I am spending time on are bad or not, but rather, which good thing I ought to be spending my time on at a given moment. For example: reading, writing letters or e-mails to friends, writing posts for this blog, playing the piano –none of these things are inherently bad, but they may not be the best thing for me to be doing if there is something more important to do. Spending time reading in my room is not a bad thing, unless Mommy needs help in the kitchen or Tris wants me to come see his newest project in the garage. It is merely a matter of choosing that which is best.

I am reminded of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. While Martha was bustling around getting a meal ready and making sure everything was perfect for Jesus, Mary sat at His feet, hanging on His every word. In the midst of all the stress of the day, Martha becomes indignant at her sister’s apparent inactivity. When she asks Jesus to tell her sister off, He rebukes her instead. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “Thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (vv.41-42)

Anything that gets in the way of our time with God, praying and reading His word, is not worth it. James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” If I know that I should be spending time with God, but do something else instead, the Bible says that is sin. Not that the other thing is necessarily evil, it’s just not best, and it’s coming between me and God. It is sin. The same principle applies to other areas as well. Whenever I know I ought to be doing one thing, and I do another instead, then according to James 4:17, that is sin.

So, that’s what God has been teaching me this week.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Intrepid Explorers

Mommy and I were feeling quite adventurous today, and since it was so bright and sunny out, we decided to see if we could find the greenway that starts just down the street from Little Woodrose. We succeeded not only in finding the greenway, we also discovered that it leads to a huge park near us.
The first part of the greenway was paved and, although clean and pretty, very urban-looking. It was a pretty trail in its own way, but was made charming by the presence of a darling little boy who was walking with his mother and sisters just behind us. We had passed the little group when they stopped to pet a dog, and after that the little boy would periodically cry “come on, we have to catch up!” or “I can run right up to them…see?” and then we would hear his little feet running on the trail until he was right behind us, and was obliged to stop out of shyness. It was quite amusing to listen to him, and I couldn’t keep from laughing when I heard him say “Mommy I found another stick!” and saw him pick up a new stick to add to the small collection he was already carrying. : )

After a while, the greenway began to follow a fairly large creek, and the pavement was replaced by gravel. It was much more pleasant to walk through at that point.

Before we knew it, the trail forked at the entrance to a large park. (The sort of park one would play at, not a nature park.) We explored that a little bit, then, as the other fork of the trail beckoned, bending out of sight only a few feet along, we began to explore that instead.

We were only a little way down the trail, when we ran into a dead end, as the trail appeared to be cut off by a bend in the creek. There was a rather treacherous-looking trail continuing along the steep side of the creek bed, but part of it had fallen away, rendering it impassable. We then noticed that there were some square stones placed in the creek bed, and on the little islet between the bends in the creek. We then noticed that it looked like there were even more in the next bend in the creek, looking much like a path. There was too much water flowing over the nearest ones to walk on, but when Mommy said that we should explore it in the summer when there was less water, the adventurous and daring nine-year old in me was seized with a sudden determination to get across.

I did.

I could have gotten across the next crossing and explored further, but Mommy was getting tired, so we went home. Next time, though, I plan to go as far as I can! : )