31 July 2006

Farewell (for the fourth time)

Yes, I'm leaving again -- this is my last trip for the summer before school starts. Montreal, here I come!

Taylor, Gracie, and I are going to the waterpark with my friend Brandy and her little girl, Emma, this morning. Brandy and I will get a chance to sit and visit while the girls play. That will be nice and relaxing... I could use some relaxing time.

I should get home around 6:30 or 7:30 PM, check my flight info and gate numbers, finish packing, go to bed and leave the house around 5:45 the next morning, lay over in Chicago around lunch time, and arrive in Montreal around dinner time Tuesday evening. From then on I have no clue what I'm doing -- I told Sarah not to tell me because I want to be surprised. Half the fun of adventure is not knowing what's next.

Maybe I'll get the chance to post from Canada. If not, you can expect a long post with lots of pictures when I return home.

Psalm 119:145-152 (ESV)

145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD!
I will keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O LORD, according to your justice give me life.
150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
they are far from your law.
151 But you are near, O LORD,
and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your testimonies
that you have founded them forever.

29 July 2006

Finally, A Day Off!

Yes, that's right folks -- I actually had a real day off! I slept in until the unheard hour of 10 AM and spent the remainder of the morning eating a nice breakfast and cleaning my rabbit's cage. I later rented Mr. and Mrs. Smith to watch with Mom -- complete with chocolate and Dr. Pepper.

Tonight, we went to our "fake" cousins' house for dinner. Hannah just returned from China last night, so she was really out of it before going to bed early. She brought home some very interesting food -- including yak jerky, seaweed snacks, dried squid, and yak butter tea. The yak jerky tastes like a combination of beef and tuna... fishy cow. Dried squid has this sweet, fishy taste with the consistency of a rubber band. The seaweed snacks were slightly spicy and very yummy. I polished off an entire package. The yak butter tea remains to be tasted -- the package is still sitting on my kitchen counter...

"Staying Pure"


Swing Picture

I found a picture of Jer and I at swing. The quality is terrible, but this is all I have for now.

28 July 2006

On Doing the Father's Work

Behold, I say unto thee, there is a day coming when ye shall regret thy lethargy and ye shall say, "Why have we left the vineyard of the Lord uncared for?" That with which ye have been occupied shall appear to thee in that day for what it is -- chaff and worthlessness. For there shall be nothing of lasting value, and no reward for the works of thine hands, which ye have done in your own strength, and which I have not commanded thee to do.

Jesus Himself was directed by the Father in all that He said and did. Dare ye live according to the dictates of thine own carnal heart and puny human understanding?

Lo, I have fashioned thee for better things. Fail Me not, but place thy life under My divine control, and learn to live in the full blessing of My highest will.

I will strengthen thee and comfort thee and will lead thee by the hand.

From Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts

27 July 2006

Travel Troubles and Matters of Modesty

Days off are never days off. It just means you're doing a different form of labor.

I spent this morning calling several people trying to find out what happened to my passport that should have arrived a week ago. I finally discovered that it was just mailed Tuesday but that it was supposed to arrive Friday or Saturday (it actually arrived this afternoon). The wheels of the government grind slowly.

Today was my only day to go shopping before I leave the country. (I have to work Friday, go to "cousins'" house on Saturday, work Awana sign-up tables on Sunday, pack at some point over the weekend, work on Monday, and leave early Tuesday morning for the airport.) I dragged Jer along with me to Wal-Mart (horror of horrors) and Old Navy. He is the best shopping buddy -- I take him everywhere with me.

A year ago I absolutely hated shopping for clothes, but forty pounds and four sizes later I like it maybe too much. However, I still have problems shopping -- just different problems. Before, I had a hard time finding clothes that fit (and didn't look like granny clothes). Now, I'm in juniors sizes, but I have to be careful because of modesty issues. That's why I take Jer along. He can give me a guy's perspective and tell me if what I'm wearing is too suggestive or not. Then I go home and ask my dad's opinion before I remove the tags from the clothes.

26 July 2006

Killer Carey Strikes Again

While out driving this morning with the girls, I committed a horrible crime -- I murdered a pigeon. The dopey bird took a dive into my windshield, leaving behind several feathers before rolling off.

"I think you kill-ded it," Taylor commented.

"You think so?" I pulled in front of the house, feeling rather guilty for murdering yet another animal with my car.

"Carey, why did you kill one of God's birds?" Taylor asked innocently, adding to my guilt. "You need to tell God that you are sorry."

I folded my hands -- "I'm sorry God."

"That's better," Taylor said, quite pleased with my penance.

25 July 2006

"Your Car Flies!" and other stories

Kids... check. Car seats... check. Sippy cups and Cheerios... check. Purse (converted into diaper bag)... check. Seatbelts... check. Ready for take-off.

There is a particular street I drive down when the girls and I go somewhere. We call it "the flying street." Partly, this refers to my driving habits (and if you have ever driven with me... well, you know). There are several large dips in the flying street that I sail over at a blistering 30 mph. Taylor loves this, quealing with glee, "Miss Carey, your car flies!" (I wish.) I think Taylor would do that all day... or at least until my car fell apart.

This morning was relatively quiet. We watched The Little Rascals while Taylor talked incessantly about Prince Charmy. I think that's rather funny because she talks about him more than I do. Taylor has drawn enough pictures of Charmy to fill a small art museum (which is basically what the fridge is).

Before lunch, we made a pilgrimage to the library -- one of the girls' favorite places to visit (for which I am very thankful). By the time we left, I had a stack of 8 books and 2 VHS tapes in my left hand, diaper bag/purse over the same shoulder, toddler on right hip, keys
that I had to fish for in some pocket, and a talkative four-year-old tagging close behind.

The grocery store was next -- one item, fifteen minutes. Everything takes three times as long when you have kids in tow. As I was paying for my one item, Taylor suddenly shouted, "I have to go potty!" I motioned her to turn down the volume, but as we walked towards the restroom Taylor began singing "Potty, potty!" to the tune of "Jingle Bells." (Yes, that's right.)

Finished with her business, Taylor ran to the sink to wash her hands. An older woman watched us.

"Two red-heads... how did you manange that?" she asked, observing my blonde hair.

"Their grandma has red hair, but I'm just the nanny."

"Oh," she smiled.

An hour and several macaroni noodles later, Gracie is now down for a nap and Taylor coloring pictures in her room (of Prince Charmy, no doubt). This small window of time in the afternoon is sacred. I can momentarily catch my breath to write or read.

To all mothers -- I salute you. To my mother -- did I really say I wanted six kids??

Ye Shall Move Swiftly

Behold, out of gross darkness, a light shall shine forth. Yea, out of the night shall a cry be heard. For I will make known My will unto thee, and thou shalt go no more halting, but YE SHALL MOVE SWIFTLY AND SURELY. Thou mayest not know what I am doing as yet, but ye shall know hereafter, and ye shall be moved by My divine unction and authority.

Ye shall not be left to falter as the blind searcheth out his way; but thou shalt put thine hand into Mine and we shall move out together. My Spirit shall be clothed upon by thy life and testimony, and thou shalt be empowered by My might and power.

My strength is indefatigable. Yea, I will be so to thee -- I will be an energizing and a quickening power within thee and upon thee, and thou shalt go in the strength of thy God. Thou shalt not fail; neither shall thine arm droop nor thy foot lag.

Thou hast no enemy to fear but only fear itself. Thou hast no weakness to contend with but such as doubt may produce. Look unto Me -- yea, constantly set thine eyes upon My face, and thou shalt be as the eagle and as the deer. Rest thine heart in Me. For in quietness and in returning shall be thy peace and thy strength.

Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts.

24 July 2006

Emotional Purity

Far Above Rubies: Emotional Purity

My very exciting life...

Mom, Dad, Jer, and I are helping my grandmother pack today. She's actually moving out of her town house (of 30+ years) to a little house just down the street from us -- right before her 80th birthday. I know it doesn't sound like much, but to get a fearful grandmother who didn't even rearrange her furniture since the 70s... it's a pretty big deal. Personally, I'm still reeling from all of this. She's planning to close on the house down the street and start moving in while I'm in Canada.

Then there's my daughter... the old, wheezy rabbit. I'm afraid she's on her last leg. My bank account is utterly depleted due to a speeding ticket last month (don't even ask about it) and I cannot afford to take her to the vet anymore. Dumpling is sick all the time (has been since she was a baby), so I had to make the difficult decision to let her go. I really don't want to do that, but I can't even pay for another vet visit so I really don't have a choice. Putting her to sleep is out of the question (I couldn't ever bring myself to do that), so I'm praying that the Lord takes her if she's suffering right now. Maybe this sounds sort of silly, but I'm very attached to this old rabbit (hence my calling her "daughter"). I'll probably be a weepy traumatized mess when she goes.

21 July 2006

I could have danced all night...

Jer and I just returned home from swing dance lessons. It was so much fun! We learned the Lindy Hop tonight. Poor Jer was uncomfortable because he didn't like the way these people taught and preferred Jason's tutelage, so I stopped where he felt comfortable and we went to the back of the gym to practice the basic steps. He got stubborn at times, to which I threatened to dump him for another guy. That fixed it -- he doesn't like me dancing with other guys.

The unfortunate thing about the two of us learning new dance steps at the same time is that I learn faster than he does -- which is bad because he's supposed to be the one leading. We've always struggled with this. Growing up, I was always the leader, but now I'm trying to step down and help him learn how to lead (in more than just dancing). I think this will be good for him. He's going to make such an awesome boyfriend/husband some day. Jer is one of the most intuitive and sensitive guys I know.

But I'm getting off the subject by bragging about my brother. The first hour was spent learning new dance steps; afterwards was free dancing, so Jer and I tore up the floor with the Jitterbug, the pretzel, and of course -- the floor spin*. No one else could do that, so I think that gave Jer a little more confidence. I could have danced another hour or two, but Jer wanted to come home to set up his new computer. Guys... That's okay, because I'm really sore from working out for an hour yesterday and then dancing for an hour and a half today. Please excuse me while I go into rigormortis.

*video coming soon


A Yielded Vessel

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, ESV)

"Mine is the wisdom and the honor and the power and the glory and shall be so forever and ever. I make the nations to rise and I make the kingdoms to fall, but My throne shall be established in Zion and My righteousness throughout all the earth...

Be aware of Me. I can accomplish great things through even one yielded, believing vessel. Remember David, and how I wrought a great victory for the armies of Israel through his courage, when all others where paralyzed by fear.

Move on, nor even entertain the thought of retreat. Others may actually be going forward on the very path that would be for thee a retreat. They are not responsible to give Me the kind of service I ask of thee. Keep your eyes on Me, as I have counselled thee so many times before.

I have special expeditionary forces, and what if I have called thee to join these ranks? Don't look for company of many others. Much of the way ye shall go entirely alone except for My presence." (From Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts)

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:3-4, ESV)

20 July 2006

Isaiah 55:8-11

Far Above Rubies ~ Isaiah 55:8-11

Swing Me!

Jer and I are finally going to the swing dance meeting tomorrow night! Hurrah! Julia has been trying to get us to come for a long time and we can finally make it (and plan on doing so regularly). Thanks to Jason, Jer knows more moves than I do and will dance in public with me (and he can finally lead).

Julia says that this swing group doesn't do "aerobic" moves like we do, so our floor spin should bring down the house. Jer and I finally perfected our floor spin last night at church on a big area of smooth cement floor we use to practice (you need a lot of space for the floor spin).

I'll try to make sure Julia takes pictures of us (and maybe a video I can post here so you can see what it looks like).

19 July 2006

Here's the poem I promised....

This is what happens when I fly and get into a poetic mood:


Aloft, I survey the sea of clouds --
Freed from the confines of earth.

The hazy, blue veil covers

A patchwork of land below.

I see an ethereal mountain range,

Before the vast expanse of Blue

Opens before my wondering eyes.

O, that I were a bird!

To leave this earth as I please --

Loosed from the shackles of gravity.

Carey Nofziger
14 July 2006
8:00 AM

18 July 2006

California Trip

To explain why I went to California: My friends Ryan and Maggie wanted to take me along to watch their daughter Grace while they attended a wedding in Temecula, California. We spent the entire weekend driving around the San Diego area. I met Maggie's childhood friends, conversed freely with strangers, stayed in the home of a friend's friend's grandmother, walked a California beach, ate lots of fish, and much more in the space of three days.

Thursday night I drove to Maggie and Ryan's house after women's Bible study and spent the night. Friday morning, we drove to the airport before dawn with their two sleepy (or sleeping) children -- Grace (three years) and Caroline (three months). I was pulled aside in the airport and thoroughly searched -- yeah, because I look so suspicious -- and no sooner did I get on the plane then one of the flight stewards was flirting with me. Like a good Christian woman, I smiled politely and thanked him for the "extra attention" instead of punching his lights out. The flight was uneventful, but I looked out the window for the longest time, drawing in poetic inspiration. (I'll publish the poem in a separate post.)

We arrived in San Diego late that morning and Ryan picked up a rental car. Before heading to Temecula, Ryan and Maggie took me to San Clemente where they used to live when Ryan was stationed at Camp Pendleton. We ate lunch at Antione's Cafe, where Maggie had worked as a waitress, and went to the beach to take some pictures. Ryan and Maggie had a couple of hours to get ready for the wedding once we arrived at our hotel. Maggie took baby Caroline with her while Grace stayed with me in the hotel. We ate California pizza, read four books, and then I tucked her in bed. I nodded off not long after.

The next morning, Grace was up chattering to three very drowsy adults. We spent the morning in the breakfast room of the hotel conversing with the people from the wedding party. I didn't talk much, but particularly enjoyed listening to the bride's sister, Kimee, and her new husband, Dustin, talk about their travels to Thailand and an upcoming trip to Burma to film a documentary about the genocide taking place there. Another young couple joined us, who had just returned from a trip to Italy. My kind of people.

For lunch the group headed for In-and-Out, a burger joint found only in California, before going to Mission Beach (just north of San Diego Int'l Airport and south of La Jolla). We stayed out there for several hours, watching Dustin teach Ryan how to surf. Thankfully, Ryan didn't drown himself. A Californian beach is an interesting place to watch people -- I don't think I've ever seen that much bare skin is so little square mileage. It took me a while to feel comfortable in a pair of shorts and tank top, but I can't even imagine... ugh. I had fun taking pictures of sea gulls, collecting sea shells, and watching aged hippies.

That night, we stayed at the bride's grandmother's house in San Diego. Kimee and Dustin lived in the house behind her, so we all hung out in the backyard, grilling fresh-caught sand bass for dinner. One of the bridesmaids had brought her 12-year-old sister with her. She seemed a little bored in the company of adults, so I struck up a conversation with her. By the end of the night we were laughing over a large piece of watermelon, telling stories, and hugging each other goodbye.

Ryan, Maggie, the girls, and I left early Friday morning for the airport and arrived home around 5 PM. My dad picked me up at their house and I crashed in bed when I got home.

So that's my California trip: I found myself having fun in the company of total strangers -- in no comfort zone whatsoever -- and loving it. I fell in love with California and wish I could move there.



Psalm 25:14-18

The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
For I am desolate and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses!
Look on my affliction and my pain,
And forgive all my sins.

17 July 2006

Imitate Mercy

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

This morning during my quiet time I opened my Bible to Micah 7, looking for encouragement... instead I found conviction.

This past week I had been disheartened and my relationship with the Lord was suffering. I couldn't pinpoint the reason why until this morning -- I was still living in bitterness and unforgiveness.

When someone hurts me, my method of self-preservation is to remain angry with that person -- which is very, very wrong. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "'Be angry, and do not sin': do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."

Micah 7 tells us that the Lord does not retain His anger forever but He delights in mercy. God takes great pleasure in being faithful when we are not -- in returning kindness when we are still in sin. I admit that I find it difficult to continue in love and kindess after being hurt by someone, but I have also seen the rewards when I do -- my dad, for instance. Because I put my unforgiveness into the Lord's hands, my relationship with my dad is better than I could have ever hoped for. But I had to first realize that the problem was with me, not my dad. It doesn't matter if it's the other person's "fault" -- the fault is with you if you do not forgive and move on.

The Apostle Paul challenges us to imitate Christ in 1 Corinthians 11:1, so my challenge from the Lord for today is to imitate Micah 7:18-19.

16 July 2006

I'm back (for now)

Just got back from California. It was so much fun! Will write more about that later. I'm going to call a few people and then hit the sack -- I've got work tomorrow and Tuesday, so it may be Wednesday before I can write an entire post about my trip.

Anyway, I'm back in town for the next couple of weeks. Two weeks from Tuesday I'll be travelling to Montreal and then have another wonderful week to write about.

13 July 2006

Farewell (for the third time this summer)

All right, I'm leaving the house in five minutes. Please be praying that the Lord gives me plenty of opportunities to share the gospel (airplanes are great for capive audiences).

Also, please pray for Jer. He's got his Eagle Scout board of review tonight and he's nervous (though he won't let on to it).

I'll be back in the blogosphere in several days! Farewell!

Gone Again

Yes, I'm leaving for yet another trip... California! I'll only be gone a few days, but I get to fly! Hurrah! Sorry, but I still get excited like a little kid when I get to fly on an airplane. Even though I've been on dozens of flights, I still love to fly. It's so much fun! *calms self down*

Anyway, if you wonder why I'm not posting for the next few days, I'm surfer-watching in California (just kidding, although we are going to the beach... haha). No, if anything, I'll be getting stung by jellyfish or feeding the sharks...

Then, less than two weeks after I return from the Sunshine State, I'm leaving for Canada to visit my long-lost family! Yay!

12 July 2006

Under Construction (or Destruction)

Sorry, folks, but it appears that my cherished airplane template has been discontinued. *sniff* So this is my temporary template until I can find or make a new one.

Fun Outisde

This morning the girls played in their little swimming pool in the backyard. I think they had a lot of fun getting wet (and muddy).

Taylor (L) and Gracie (R)

Blogging Family

Now I've got my mom and younger brother into blogging! Check out their blogs...

Justified by Christ

Jeremy's Blog

11 July 2006

Find Solitude

There is no blessing that I would withhold from the that walk in obedience to Me -- who follow when I call, and who respond when I speak unto them. They are near to My heart and precious in My sight who have eyes to discern My purpose and ears to listen to My direction.

Be not intent upon great accomplishments. By what standards do ye judge the importance of a matter? It was a relatively small thing that Hannah prayed for a son, but what great things I accomplished through Samuel! It may have seemed incidental that Simeon and Anna perceived the Christchild and prophesied over Him; but it was to Me a word worthy to be recorded in Holy Scripture and preserved forever.

Nay, ye cannot ascertain the ways of God amidst the pathways of men. Ye may feel the wind as I pass, and yet see only the swirling dust. The earthly beclouds the heavenly. The voices of men drown the voice of God. Only in much solitude can ye begin to sift away the chaff and come at last to the golden grains of truth.

The World will confuse thee. Silence will speak more to thee in a day than the world of voices can teach thee in a lifetime. Find it. Find solitude -- and having discovered her riches, bind her to thy heart.

Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts

10 July 2006

This goes along with the previous post...



I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! (Psalm 27:13-14)

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "wait" as: (1) to stay in place in expectation of (2) to remain stationary in readiness or expectation (3) to look forward expectantly (4) to hold back expectantly (5) to be ready and available (6) to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized.

In her book,
Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot writes, "A spirit of resistance cannot wait on God. I believe it is this spirit which is the reason for some of our greatest sufferings. Opposing the workings of the Lord in and through our 'problems' only exacerbates them. It is here and now that we must win our victories or suffer defeats. Spiritual victories are won in the quiet acceptance of ordinary events, which are God's 'bright servants,' standing all around us.

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has
all things safely in His hands. 'Peace I leave with you; I do not give to you as the world gives' (John 14:27, NEB). What sort of peace has He to give us? A peace which is constant in the midst of ceaseless work (with few visible results), frequent interruptions, impatient demands, few physical comforts; a peace which was not destroyed by the arguments, the faithlessness, the hatred of the people. Jesus had perfect confidence in His Father, whose will He had come to accomplish. Nothing touched Him without His Father's permission. Nothing touches me without my Father's permission. Can I not then wait patiently? He will show the way.

"It is amazing how clear things become when we are
still before Him, not complaining, not insisting on quick answers, only seeking to hear His word in the stillness, and to see things in His light." (Pages 135-136)

During a recent phone conversation my grandmother told me about her quiet time that morning and thanked me for being a good influence on her (concerning quiet times). That was incredibly humbling, but I was so very thankful that the Lord used me. I don't recall the passages she mentioned, but I do remember her saying, "Now I know why you're always so calm and trusting the Lord. The verses I read this morning made me think of you." The Lord has brought so many events into my life within the past year to teach me patience. I marvel at the peace and contentment that accompany a heart that waits on Him.

Wait... who likes to wait? In a world that moves at warp-speed, we have lost the art of simply being still. Christians are no different today -- we want God to work on our timetable, we want answers to our prayers now, we want immediate results! We worry, we complain... we have forgotten how to wait calmly on the Lord. Do we honestly think so lowly of God that we don't think He will carry through? One of my favorite verses, Romans 8:28, carries a promise that gives me confidence to wait -- And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His
purpose. ALL things. God is not so weak that He will not finish what He starts. Is He not the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)? There is a framed quote in my grandmother's study by an anonymous author that I love -- "Worry slanders every promise in the Word of God."

Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You. (Psalm 25:5, 20-21)

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)

And it will be said in that day: "“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." (Isaiah 25:9)

A heart that does not wait on the Lord is in sin -- the sin here is not impatience, but distrust. When you do not trust God (because you do not know His character intimately), you grow impatient for Him to act, rather than resting in His omnipotence and omniscience.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

08 July 2006

"Living in the Light"

Justified by Christ: "Living in the Light"

07 July 2006

The Path of Obedience

Far Above Rubies: "The Path of Obedience"

WOW Moment

Last night at women's Bible study I had one of those WOW moments. During my morning devotions I read about resignation (as previously posted) and then read Romans 8:28 during my afternoon devotions. Guess what was taught and quoted during Bible study that night?

It's truly amazing to see how God orchestrates things like that. Obviously, He was getting the message across to me that I need to resign my will to His. There are some things in my life that I need to let go of -- Isaacs I need to lay on the alter -- things I so greatly desire but must sacrifice. It is the hardest thing in the world to relinquish something close to your heart, but until you give it up completely you cannot have it. When you refuse to let go of something you have already lost it because you will not surrender it to God -- you can only gain something by losing it first.

I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! (Psalm 119:1-2)

06 July 2006


Incline thine ear unto Me, and let thine ear be attuned to My voice. For lo, I would speak to thee, and I have an urgent message to give thee.

Go not about to establish thine own designs. Lo, I have already set in motion My divine will and purpose and I would not have thee interfere. I am jealous about My children: Lo, they are Mine, saith the Lord; and ye shall not intrude in any way such as would hinder My plans from working out. Yea, ye may do many things, but only that which I direct thee to do can have My blessing upon it.

Resign all into My hands -- thy loved ones as well as thine own self. Be obedient to the still small voice. Thine own imaginings may speak more loudly, but wait upon Me always. Ye shall see the wisdom and the glory in this in due time. Fret not about carnal things, but concern thyself first and always about spiritual values. Truly, My promise is still: 'Seek ye
first the Kingdom of God, and all other needful things shall be added unto thee.'

Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts

05 July 2006

WWJD (Work With Jello Daily)

Work With Jello Daily... something I learned in MIT (missionary in training) bootcamp. In other words, be flexible -- really flexible.

Flexibility, I have learned, is a trait very useful with small children. I had an entire schedule planned out for the girls and I today... and guess what? Yes, everything changed so I didn't even bother conjuring up another schedule. It sounds crazy, but I actually enjoy the challenge of an up-in-the-air schedule. Plans change at the last minute? Okay. We need to flip morning and afternoon schedules? Sure.

Life is a lot easier when you're laid-back.

Hearing His Call and Discovering His Will

Recently, I picked up my mom's copy of Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot and haven't been able to put it down. Here are some juicy tidbits I came across this morning...
Three questions may help to clarify the call of God. Have I made up my mind to do what He says, no matter what the cost? Am I faithfully reading His Word and praying? Am I obedient in what I know today of His will?
"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You" (Psalm 143:8, NKJV).

There are two very simple conditions to discovering the will of God. Paul states them clearly in his letter to the Romans, chapter 12. The first is in verse 1 (NKJV): "... present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God..." The place to start is by putting yourself utterly and unconditionally at God's disposal. You say
Yes Lord. You turn over all the rights at the very beginning. Once that's settled you can go on to the second, in verse 2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." I said conditions were simple. I did not say they were easy. Exchanging a No Lord for a Yes Lord has often been painful for me. But I do want a "new mind" -- one that takes its cues from the Word of God, not the mass media. I pray for a clear eye to see through the fog of popular opinion, and a will strong enough to withstand the currents -- a will surrendered, laid alongside Christ's. He is my model. This means a different set of ambitions, a different definition of happiness, a different standard of judgment altogether. Behavior will change, and very likely it will change enough to make me appear rather odd -- but then my Master was thought very odd.
Paul goes on to say that these conditions are "the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do." No wonder we scratch our heads and ask, "What is the secret of knowing the will of God?" We haven't started at the right place -- the offering of that all-inclusive sacrifice, our very bodies, and then the resolute refusal of the world's values.

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10)

Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5)

04 July 2006

Transformation, Not Information

My mommy has just been introduced into the world of blogging, and here is her first post on Far Above Rubies:

Inspirational Spot

Earlier this evening, I went out to my "spot" with my journal. No matter what the weather is like, I'm always inspired when I sit in my spot. I love the outdoors -- a constant source of artistic inspiration.

6:10 PM

A storm front envelops the south-eastern horizon -- shades of white, gray, and eggshell blue -- the air is warm and moist. The gentle summer breeze ushers in the smell of rain and fresh earth. Crickets, birds, and distant thunder compose an evening summer symphony. Now it is still -- barely a stalk of field grass dips its head, for the wind is silent. It seems -- for a brief moment -- as though the whole world is holding its breath. I dare not breathe, for fear of ruining the perfect silence.

"Think of Me"

Found this song performed by two of my many favorite Christian artists. Makes me cry (but that's probably because I'm in one of those moods where everything makes me cry).

"Think of Me" performed by Mark Schultz and Rachael Lampa (Windows Media Player needed)

03 July 2006

1 Corinthians 13

I did a word study on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tonight (or rather, this morning -- it's now after midnight). Found some interesting stuff. Click on the links to see the Greek words and their definitions... very thought-provoking.

LOVE ...

... suffers long
... is kind
... does not envy
... does not parade itself
... is not puffed up
... does not behave rudely
... does not seek its own
... is not provoked
... thinks no evil
... does not rejoice in iniquity
... rejoices in the truth
... bears all things
... believes all things
... hopes all things
... endures all things
... never fails

02 July 2006

Mexico 2006

Yes, I'm Back

Sorry, everyone. I came home Friday night and haven't bothered to post anything until now. It takes me a while to readjust to the 21st century.

I'll be posting a summary of the Mexico trip with pictures soon. Thanks for all your prayers!