Fall Give-Aways

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's been quite the smattering of blog give-aways lately. I thought I would let you in on a couple.

-- My friend Melinda is hosting a Marie-Madeline Studio give-away for a $35 gift certificate! All you have to do is go and comment here, and tell her Kaylene sent you. Then you can get repeated chances my telling your friends. So GO comment! And while you're at it, check out Melinda's whole blog. She's pretty new to the blogosphere, but is already an ol' pro!

EDIT :: here's a rule I missed-- be sure and let me know if you entered because for everyone of you who enters, I get another chance. :-P and you can do the same on your blog, or by email!

--Another one that I found through Kate, is hosted by Leanna. She is giving away a pretty lil' gift bundle. Go here to see details and leave a comment, saying what your favorite thing about fall is.

So as the word is around here, Happy Fall Ya'll. I hope you win ;-)

What's It All About?

There are some things more important to me than wit when it comes to blogging. I remember back when I wrote about my issues with blogging, and saying that I might post someday one the reasons I do blog. Someday has come. As I'm sure you've all been waiting for it with bated breath. Sorry to keep you waiting. Its really quite simple.

I don't blog just to vent.
I don't blog like I journal.
I don't blog for comments.
I don't blog because I think its important that my voice be heard.


Yes, blogging is therapeutic.
Yes, blogging is a fun way to 'keep record'
Yes, comments are extremely rewarding.
And yes, it is somewhat gratifying to think I'm getting my opinion 'out there'.

There are multiple little reasons that I think blogging is worthwhile. But what it really comes down to, is this: My testimony.

I've read a lot of blogs. Too many really. And I've wished mine were a lot of different things. But really? The only thing I've got to offer the world, is what Jesus is doin' in me. Sometimes I post about life, with little reference to "this is what I learned". But that too is part of 'me'. God uses circumstances to shape a person, yes?

I'll be completely honest. My motives for clicking 'publish post' on every individual post, can vary quite a bit. I probably couldn't even tell you exactly why I post certain things I do. Sometimes, I've got extended family in mind-- knowing they like to keep up with my family. [ Hi Grandma!! :) ]

But the reason I keep on blogging? I blog, hoping you see Jesus in me. That what He's teaching me, teaches you too. That my daily life will encourage someone else, maybe just because they can know they're not the only one. There's a sense of indebtedness I have, to the authors of the blogs or books I read, to which I am able to say, "ah, yes, I know exactly how she feels. I am not alone."

I've come thiiis close to quitting. And then someone says, "such and such post really encouraged me." Or I find out that someone who doesn't know Jesus is reading my blog! That's what keeps me going. And I really enjoy keeping going.

Please Pass the Talent

I think of so many things to write as I lay in bed at night. In the morning, I realize I think so much better than I write. Which doesn’t say much for my thinking. I take pictures. I don't have to think to do that. Or write.

Seriously though. I’ve been reading some blogs that leave me a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. inspired. There are so many different tones to writing. Some write essays. Some write diary entries. Others write some really witty words. Some are capable of writing as though they just typed their thoughts out as they were thinking them. Those kind totally engage me and keep me begging for more. It just comes across as so real-- as though I were sitting across the table from them, having a two way conversation.

Anywho, I think I’m learning the difference between the natural and the wanna-be (like me). But hey, who’s to say that the wanna-be can’t someday be what she wants to be? Just please hold my dry humor and attempts at wit in check, so I don’t go over board trying too hard.

While I’m getting my “act” together here are some blogs of note for you to read. And I really mean that. These blogs float my boat. (please rate that sentence on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the wittiest thing you’ve ever read. Thank you.)

Annieblogs.com (its like she’s right there talkin’ to me)

Latte-with-love.blogspot.com (gets down to the heart of the matter)

Reflectionsfromkt.blogspot.com (A heart to serve, the size of Texas)

Loveforthetruth.com (a perfect blend of purpose and intellectual stimulation)

Alirae.net (Beauty she is as beauty she does. and writes.)

and thats just to name a few... what are your favorites?

Good Success

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Not a day goes by when I don't think about what God might have in store or how He plans to use me. Its not always an issue of discontentment, but rather a question from little me to a big God. "What do You want me to be doing?"
The day we received our certificates for completion of the Discipleship training, one of our teachers read Joshua 1:8 as exhortation to us to continue in The Word. Its from my Dad's favorite passage and one I've heard over and over.
"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."
I was struck by what almost seemed to be a redundancy. Good success. Good success? How often do we, as Americans especially, think of success as anything but good? I realized that at times I equalize the two in my mind and consider lack of career and financial goals to be a sacrifice of success. In a sense, if those things are not in God's plan for me, they are bad success. And rather than being a sacrifice on my part, His purposes are actually deliverance from the bondage of this world.
Romans 12:1&2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

At All Times

"Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is our refuge for us. Selah." Psalm 62:8
"You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember? He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?" O. Chambers.

Choosing a Cause

I was reading in the Psalms this morning and began to think about the belief system that I referred to in this post. I had written,

"Many people believe in what they believe in, because they trust with a mere 'cause and effect' sort of mentality. “I tried it. It worked. It must be true.” Can you see how dangerous this must be, when a person who thinks this way, sees a medicine doctor heal someone in the jungles of Africa?"
I cautioned, "Christians must beware of validating their faith merely by experience." By saying that I didn't mean to downplay sharing personal testimony as a way of witnessing to the lost. Personally, I believe that is one of the most powerful tools the Holy Spirit uses to cut to the heart of the sinner.

I got to thinking though. If cause and effect is a part of your testimony like it is mine, then what's the difference? How can it bear weight when they may be able to counter with their own experience of cause and effect... that may or may not include God?

My realization this morning may not be as relevant to you as it was to me, as in some ways its the obvious answer. But as I considered these things, my heart was filled to the brim with gratitude for the hope I have in the Lord. The difference is the effect. What the world is looking for is different than what an individual whose heart is seeking after God, desires or receives. The world on the other hand generally doesn't care what or who the cause is, as long as they get the desired [fleshly] effect.

If God heals or blesses in any capacity it is for his purposes not for furthering our human endeavors. What the world cannot understand, but through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, is that the greatest privilege is serving the Lord and walking in accordance to his purposes. Isn't that our hope?! Wow, that excites me!
.Psalm 40.
I waited patiently for the Lord and he inclined unto me...Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust... Many, O Lord my God are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward. They cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. [bits&pieces]
.Psalm 44.
Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people... All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee...Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way... If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long. [bits&pieces]

Bigger Than I Can Dream

I look back on a thousand roads I wandered down
And just as many dreams I chased but never found
From where I stand I see the way You’ve held my heart
The times You closed a door or left a light on in the dark

And for every broken path

For every storm held back
I shake my head in wonder
I don’t know the half
Of what You have for me

What You’re holding back
That You don’t let me see

You give me everything I need

And more than I can ask

I can’t help but be amazed

And I don’t even know the half

The God who whispered life into an empty space
He’s prepared for us an even better place

I hear about the mansions and the golden streets
But I still can’t imagine all that heaven holds for me

Cause even when I dream
It’s still beyond my grasp To try and comprehend it

You cover me with wings of grace
Hold me in your sweet embrace
When it comes to who you are
I know it’s just a taste
sung by Mark Harris, 'The Half'

The Face

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When I am faithless, He is faithful.
When mine fail, His plans prevail.
When I fail, His mercy endures.
Without Him, I am nothing.

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