June 1, 2010 I published the last issue (at least for a while) of Girl Talk my teen girl magazine. Since this blog was originally designed for the purpose of publishing weekly devotions for the magazine and later the magazine itself I decided to create another blog that isn’t connected to Girl Talk.

I’ll probably still publish book reviews or other items here now and again but you’ll more often find me at Trusting Him with Today. I hope you’ll stop by



Nov 29, 2007

From Failure to Success

(Confessions of a former Mathematical failure)

Math has never been my best subject. From primary school straight up to college I struggled with Math. In fact during my college years I struggled with math so much that I honestly thought it would be the one subject that would keep me from getting my college degree. Yes it was that bad. Every other subject I could pass with pretty decent grades but oh boy, that Math!

After I passed my college prep Math *big sigh of relief* it was time to face the dreaded Math 140. I struggled through getting a few good grades, a few bad grades but I thought it would balance out in the end. Unfortunately, midterm changed all that.

When I got my Midterm Exam back there it was, the big red letter that no student ever wants to see. That day just happened to be the last day to drop a subject without academic penalty. I knew that I could not recover from that failing grade since that test was worth about 25% of my entire course grade. Also, I couldn’t afford to mess up my grade point average so I did what I had to do. I went directly to the business office and dropped the subject.

I decided to do Math 140 during a summer semester. It was a shorter period of time but by doing it alone I thought I’d find it a little easier and a little less threatening. I was wrong! I found it just as difficult this time around. But I was determined to pass the course. I went to peer tutoring, I went to my lecturer’s office hours and I spent hours and hours struggling to work out problems on my own. However, I still had the fear that I would fail the subject.

To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. Daniel 1:17

A friend who knew about my battle with Math sent me the above Bible verse. I committed the verse to memory and every time I felt uncertain I’d repeat it to myself. I reminded myself that if God could give Daniel and his friends, knowledge and understanding in all subjects then surely giving me the ability to understand Math wasn’t an impossible task. Fortunately it wasn’t. I won’t say that Math suddenly began easy to me but I was able to pass it with a B (I’d only been praying for a C).

There it is, one of my most embarrassing stories. But I hope it encourages you to just keep at it even when it doesn’t seem like you’re doing as well as you would like to in school or in life. You’ll succeed it you keep trying, trust God and never give up. Remember though, faith without works is dead. It is unrealistic to say that you’re trusting God to help you if you’re unwilling to put in the extra time to accomplish your goals.


I thought I'd post this article from the Sept/Nov issue of Girl Talk to encourage those of you who are studying for end of term exams. Happy studying :)

Nov 25, 2007

When Hope Springs Anew

I'm over here today



Stop by and read my article, When Hope Springs Anew

The Gift

Thanks for the electric guitar you gave me for Christmas," little Chris Cody said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays. "It's the best present I ever got."

"That's great," said his uncle. "Do you know how to play it?"

"Oh, I don't play it," the little fellow said. "My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.


(I'm so thinking about buying one of my godsons drums this Christmas...)

Nov 19, 2007

Reading because it's my duty

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1:8

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15


As much as I love my Lord there are times when I just don’t feel like reading his word. I don’t feel like reading for the love of reading and I don’t feel like reading for inspiration. His word just sometimes for whatever reason doesn’t captivate me like it should. However it’s those times that I have to remind myself that it is my duty, to do so. So just like those days when I don’t feel like going to work but I force myself because of duty so do I with the word of God. I’ve learned over the years that as I go against what I’m feeling in my mind and do what God expects from me anyway that I often come away feeling refreshed, renewed and inspired by something that he allowed me to see in his word.


I posted this poem before however, I thought it fit with this post although it's not actually about Bible reading.

Sometimes

Sometimes I enter your house Lord
And it’s not where I want to be
I don’t feel like lifting my hands
Or singing praises to your name

I don’t want to hear the preacher
Preach a message about God’s grace
I want the service to be over
So I can be on my way

But as I sit in the sanctuary
And I begin to meditate
I think about all you’ve done
And how you saved me by your grace

And as I think about you Lord
The tears begin to slowly fall
As the iciness within my heart
Begin to melt from your son’s warmth

So I slip my hand to heaven
And begin to praise your holy name
Because Lord I do realize
This you do require of me

You want me to praise you
When I feel like and when I don’t
To deny the natural man
And tune in to only you

As I tune into your frequency
You begin to speak to me
You let me know that you are pleased
With my sacrificial praise

By the time I leave the service
My attitude is totally changed
And I wonder within myself
“why didn’t I want to praise God’s name?

Nov 18, 2007

The Lost Cell Phone

“I think you have my cell phone” I told the gentleman at the end of the phone line.

It was about 10 at night, an hour earlier I had noticed that my cell phone was missing after I returned home from a PTA meeting. I dialed my cell number from my home phone three times hoping someone would pick up. No one did but, an hour later a gentleman called because he had seen the missed calls on the phone.

"You lost your phone where?” he replied after I had already told him I had lost it at a PTA meeting. “I wasn’t even there and I’ve had this phone for a while.”

“Well maybe I transposed my phone number when I dialed” I replied, not wanting to call him a less than honest person (although I was thinking it). “Thanks for calling back.”

After I hung up from the gentleman, I checked the caller ID. It looked as if the call had come from my cell phone. However, just to be safe I called my sister.

“Steph, what’s my cell phone number?” She gave it to me, laughing the whole time. It sounded like the number I had dialed, but anyway I dialed it again expecting to hear the same, less than honest, guy answer.

What I heard was a ringing sound coming from somewhere in my house…

Yes dear reader, it truly happened. I don’t know my own cell phone number. And wasn’t I happy that I hadn’t told that nice, polite, honest gentleman to kindly stop being dishonest and return my lost cell phone.“

BTW, that's my nephew's hand holding the cell phone. My phone isn't quite as nice. I don't know why I thought anyone would want to keep it lol.

For more smiles visit Lynn

Nov 15, 2007

Reading for Meaning and Inspiration

I mentioned in an earlier post that as a Christian teen I had no idea where to begin my Bible reading or how to go about studying the Bible. So, I began by reading just for the love of reading and pretty soon I was lovin’ reading and spending time in the word of God.

As time passed I started digging deeper into the word. I wanted more than the satisfaction that came with finishing a captivating novel and knowing that the heroine ended up with the handsome hero (like Ruth ended up with Boaz) or knowing that the underdog won, (Esther winning the ultimate beauty contest and the king’s heart). Hence I started reading for inspiration and meaning. I started digging into the word of God and formulating my own value and belief system based on what I was reading in His word. I started seeking to understand exactly what it is that my heavenly father expected of me as a child of God.

One of the study aids that really helped me with my Bible Study time as a teenager was Tim Lahay’s book, How to Study the Bible for Yourself. It’s a very reader friendly book that gives you good strategies on how to study the Bible. One of the strategies I adopted back then for my daily bible study is the outline below. This simple outline was able to keep me focused during my daily studies and ensure that I came away with something tangible after studying.

Daily Spiritual diary

Passage:
God’s message to me today:
A promise from God:
A command to keep:
A timeless principal:
How does this apply to my life?

Along with my daily readings, I also did chapter studies and character studies (the outlines for these were also in the book). I enjoyed digging deep into the lives of men and women of the Bible and finding out what made them succeed, fail or get up and try again. I got to know some of them so well that they became like friends to me much like my beloved Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and other books I enjoyed during my early teen years.

As I really began to study the Bible I found so many nuggets hidden within the chapters that I had just casually read over during my daily readings. I began to learn my Father’s heart and his plans for my life. It was during these times that I realize that as Solomon said, there is a time and place for everything… reading for the love of reading has its time and place but so does reading for meaning and inspiration. However, I’ve also found that there are times when I have to read just because…

To be concluded on Monday

Nov 12, 2007

You are Wanted

Ever feel forsaken as if God has forgotten you?

Stop by Laced With Grace and read my post tomorrow. (Tuesday)

Nov 10, 2007

The Children of Israel


Mr. Goldblatt," announced little Joey, "there's somethin' I can't figger out."

"What's that Joey?" asked Goldblatt.

"Well accordin' to the Bible, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"

"Right."

"An' the Children of Israel beat up the Phillistines, right?"

"Er--right."

"An' the Children of Israel built the Temple, right?"

"Again you're right."

"An' the Children of Israel fought the 'gyptians, an' the Children of Israel fought the Romans, an' the Children of Israel wuz always doin' somethin' important, right?"

"All that is right, too," agreed Goldblatt. "So what's your question?"

"What I wanna know is this," demanded Joey. "What wuz all the grown-ups doin?"

For more Sunday Smiles visit Lynn

Nov 8, 2007

For the Love of Reading



Growing up in a small, rural community there was no television in my home until I became a teenager. Consequently, for entertainment I read books, lots and lots of books and there began my love of reading. However, the Bible wasn’t high on my list of must reads except for Sunday school and church.

Hence when I became a Christian at the age of 16 I had no idea where to begin with the Bible. Although I grew up in church, personal Bible study time was not a priority to me until I became a Christian. So I decided as a new Christian teen that the same love I had for my romance novels, mysteries and suspense books I was going to carry that over to my personal Bible reading. Therefore, I began to read the stories in the Bible simply for the love of reading (Of course Esther and Ruth were two of the first books I read. The fact that they were somewhat like romance stories had absolutely nothing to do with it, lol).

I fell in love with the men and women of the Bible and I spent many hours during my teens just reading their life stories. Back then I spent more time reading the Old Testament stories and it was during those times that without even realizing I began to pray to God for qualities I wanted in my life.

I asked him to give me the strength and courage of Esther, to be willing to place myself in harms way if necessary to help someone else.

I prayed for the optimism of Joshua and Caleb, to see the obstacles in my life as small when compared to my God.

I prayed to be like Ruth, loyal and devoted to the people he placed in my life.

I prayed for the determination of Nehemiah, who no matter what happened he was determined to stay his course.

I longed for the heart of David who when he made mistakes was swift to cry out,

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the
multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psalms 51:1,10-11

It was those sweet times of simply falling in love with God’s word that began to develop and form my relationship with him. And as I read the stories of the Bible, more and more I began to long for something deeper, something more intimate, and it was then that I began to read for more than enjoyment, I started reading the Bible for meaning and inspiration.

To be continued

Nov 5, 2007

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to meet Jesus?
I asked a friend one day
Do you know that he is coming,
To take his bride away?

My friend if you’re not ready
You will be left behind
To face the perils on this earth
Without him by your side

Will you accept him now
While there’s still time?
He’s knocking at your heart,
Please won’t you let him in?

I know that I’m a sinner,
Was her reply to me,
But I am not yet ready
To yield my life to him

Right now I’m in to having fun
Not playing by the book
But maybe in a year or two
I’ll give my life to him

I looked at her sadly, with
Tears in my eyes
And said I hope its not too late
When at last you do decide.

Nov 4, 2007

Thank you for giving to the Lord

No matter how young or old we are in Christ, we all experience times when we feel as if what we're doing isn't of significance or isn't affecting any one's life in a meaningful way. However you may never know this side of heaven how much something you did or said changed some one's whole life. To those of you who have been there or are at that place right now I dedicate this post to you.



It was a beautiful day outside. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the flowers were in full bloom. It was the kind of day that would make anyone happy to be alive, anyone except Mama Gina, the neighborhood's favorite grandmother. She was usually one of the most cheerful person around, but not today. She didn’t even notice the beauty of the day as she walked humming a song she was making up as she walked.

I feel so weak and tired
Feel like all my strength has gone.
Nobody told me that the load would be so heavy
I feel like God has brought me this far and dumped me

As Mama Gina was walking humming, one of her young neighbours caught up with her.

Neighbor: Mama Gina, isn’t it a beautiful day? What’s that song I heard you singing?

Mama Gina: Child I’m just making the words up as I go. I feel so discourage. I feel like all my work in vain

Neighbor: You do? Maybe that's why I dreamt about you last night

Mama Gina:About me? What did you dream?

Neighbour: I dreamt I went to heaven, you were there with me.

Mama Gina: Sound good so far, go on.

Neighbour: We walked upon the streets of gold, near the crystal sea. Heard these angels singing and someone called your name.
Mama Gina: My name?

Neighbour: Yes, your name

Mama Gina: Who was it?

Neighbour: It was a young man. He was smiling as he came.

Mama Gina: Was it my grandson? He just went on home last year.

Neighbor: I don’t think so but he walked up to you and said,

Friend you may not know me now, then he said, but wait, you use to teach my Sunday school I was only eight. And every week you would say a prayer, before the class would start. One day when you said that prayer I asked Jesus in my heart.

Neighbor: Then he gave you a rose and started singing,
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving too the lord. I am so glad you gave.
Mama Gina: You really dreamt that about me?

Neighbor: Yes but I’m not finished.

Mama Gina: You mean there’s more?

Neighbor: Yes, then another man came gave you a rose and said,

Remember the time a missionary came to your church his pictures made you cry. You didn’t have much money but you gave it anyway. Jesus took that gift you gave and that’s why I’m in heaven today.
Mama Gina: There were so many missionaries. I don’t even know which one it was.

Neighbor:
Well one by one they came as far as the eyes could see. Each one someone touched by your generosity. Little things that you had done sacrifices that you’d made, unnoticed on this earth but in heaven now proclaimed. And I know up in heaven you’re not supposed to cry but I’m almost sure there were tears in your eyes. As Jesus took your hand and you stood before the Lord he said “my child, look around you great is your reward.”
Neighbor: Then everyone started singing to you.
Thank you for giving to the Lord I am a life that was changed, thank you for giving to the Lord I am so glad you gave.
As the young neighbor finished repeating the dream tears began to fall from Mama Gina's eyes.

Neighbor: Mama Gina what you crying for? I thought the dream would cheer you up. Are you still feeling discouraged?

Mama Gina: How can I still be discouraged after that? I think I have a new song to sing now.

Neighbor: Really what is it?

Mama Gina: I don’t feel no way tired.

Neighbor: I can join you in singing that.

The two continued walking together singing softly: I don’t feel no way tired. Come to far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy but I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me.

(Words in italics are from the song Thank You For Giving to the Lord by Ray Boltz) I've always loved the song and this is a shortened version of a skit I wrote several years ago using the lyrics of the song)

Nov 3, 2007

Please Change This

Peter walked up to his teacher's desk, holding a report card with a big red F. "If I were you," said Peter, "I would change this while you still can."

"Why is that?" asked the teacher.

"Because my daddy told me that if I brought home one more failing report card, someone was going to get a beating."

For more Sunday Smiles visit Lynn

Pray For Ian

"... pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16


In February of this year I came across the blog Pray For Ian, maintained by the family and friends of a young man name Ian who was seriously injured in a car accident on September 30, 2006. Since then I have been an almost daily visitor to the blog as I join in praying and believing God for this young man’s healing.

I don’t know what the outcome will be but I have been touched by this family’s dedication and faith in God. I’ve never met them and probably won’t this side of heaven but I do understand a little of what they’re going through and I know that there is no distance in prayer. So I ask you, if you will, to join in with this family, visit the blog and please, Pray For Ian.

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