Looking Forward

Like I said, I'm pretty bad at keeping resolutions. But I'm really, really good at making them. So naturally I have this impulse to write out a new year's "priority list". I've got a lot of purposeful statements floating around in my head. Some of them are depressing, because they were on this year's mental list and didn't get accomplished. Others (well, all of them really) I realize just aren't happening, until I fully surrender that area to God. For some reason that simple lesson seems to take a whole life to learn.
My thinking and plans for 2010 go something along the lines of:  Exercising more, drinking more water, eating healthier. hehe.. the normal stuff you see on a list of resolutions. But there are some heavier ones too, like: Speaking less, doing more. Using my time more purposefully. Maybe see if life goes just as well, if I complain and worry a little a lot less. (its gotten so bad that I complain that I complain too much.)  Eradicating selfishness. Yeah, all of that and more. So basically, I'm on the transplant list for a servant's heart. Prayer would be nice.

What are you're thoughts for the New Year? Or are you a resolution maker?
My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done. 
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me 
and hold me as my father and mold me as my maker.

I ask you: "How many times will you pick me up, 

when I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory, 

how far will forgiveness abound?"
And you answer: " My child, I love you.
And as long as you're seeking My face, 

                                              You'll walk in the pow'r of My daily sufficient grace."

photo-  "trainees- kaylene sam alexis t.j." by Soryn V.

Because I love them

...And because I think they're special, I must take time out from my regular posting to bring to your attention a most notable date and to introduce to you these two lovely people (if you don't already know them). Today makes exactly 24 years ago that my parents, Ken and Marcy, got married. (the picture was taken just a little more than 24 years ago, I think)

As handsome of a couple as they are (they sure are pretty people, aren't they?) this is not their greatest attribute. They both strive to please the Lord in their relationship and how they've raised us kids. That is their greatest attribute, for which I am deeply grateful and forever indebted. On that train of thought, this could be a very long post, so I'll just leave it at that and without further ado, I would just like to wish my parents a very....

Happy Anniversary!

Bible Image

Here's the code the for the Bible Reading Challenge image for your sidebar. Simply copy & paste:
<center><a href="http://kayleneonline.blogspot.com/2009/12/i-hereby-resolve.html"> <img style="width: 180px; height: 183px;"src="http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j89/kaylene-pics/bible2.png"/></a>


Only 4 days 'til we start our Bible reading challenge. I'm really looking forward to getting started. If you haven't already, you're welcome to join us! In fact, you can join at any time even after January 1 as long as you don't mind reading extra so you can be sure and finish with us by July 1.

This is the best reading checklist I found online. I strongly suggest printing it off, or one like it, and marking as you go. This gives you liberty to do a little bit of skipping around without losing track of what you've already read. Plus I find it motivating to have a "picture" of  progress (or lack thereof- hehe).
Please be in prayer going into this. I wasn't kidding when I said Satan's going to fight you on this. He uses the smallest things to distract from this very important element in your relationship with God. Blessings on everyone's new year!

Will you hear the call?

Facebook 2009 Re-lived

I actually started out the year, as somewhat new to Facebook.
I'd been known to say that Facebook was taking over the world,
and I would be the last to succumb. I wasn't.
Here for your enjoyment and pleasure and education, is a sampling of my statuses of 2009.

[Click to make it bigger...]

No Need for Pepper Spray

The safest way for a young woman to travel alone, is for her to have a Starbuck's Caramel Brulee Frap in hand. This distracts from her personal appearance and vulnerability. Sinister plans are disarmed. Potential interest and affection transferred. Admiration shifted. True love defined.
The crowd silently parts-- all eyes fixed on the coveted beverage. Calmly and gently remind stalkers and those who may approach you, where the nearest Starbucks is.

I'm not just kidding with you. As I write this, the Continental Express check-in person is staring at me my Caramel Brulee. This is by far the most effective way to make yourself invisible.

Merry Christmas or Christmas?

So the last few Christmases there has been this major battle about keeping Christ in Christmas. And here we are again--Christmas time and lawsuits. I'm not going to lie or beat around the bush: I don't really think its an important cause to join. Hear me out. (Or read me out, however its said written.)

I think its ironic that we as Christians are trying so hard to keep something in Christmas, that wasn't there to begin with. Some of you may have heard of the pagan roots of Christmas? Let's face it. its true. Christ was "implemented" so the religious leaders of the day could ease their consciouses about celebrating a worldly festivity.

This post is not about Christmas and its roots. Its not even about my beliefs concerning wishing people a 'Merry Christmas'. Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, who cares. Not the point. I'm not attempting to say 'peace, peace where there is no peace'. That's not my personality or conviction. I definitely believe in Christians beings trend setters and boldness for the Gospel's sake. My point is -- Christians should pick greener hills to die on. I say, we be a little more careful about choosing our battles. I acknowledge that those who use 'X-mas' are often purposely trying to remove Christ from their vocab. Those fighting against keeping Christ in Christmas, are opposing Christianity. But lets clarify something. Christmas is not the gospel. Keeping Christ in Christmas is not the epitome of Christianity. . We got along fine with out it before, and if its taken completely out in the future, we'll get along fine with out it again. (Maybe we'll even get along better without it, but maybe thats a post for another day). Suppose it just wasn't meant to be? You may direct all hate mail to kaylenelise@yahoo.com or feel free to comment. Happy Holidays! ;)

Reading the Bible in 6 Months

There's something I really want to avoid in making this challenge to my friends. And I keep thinking about it so I thought before I go on posting about reading the Bible in 6 months, I'd make a clarification.The goal in doing this, is not to be able to say “I've read the Bible in 6 months” or to become "super spiritual". Say you do successfully read the Bible in 6 months. Whooptie doo. Don't get too excited. Some of the most Bible literate people remain unsaved and cold-shouldered towards the will of God. I personally know most of you who have already agreed to join me, and I know this is not your heart. But I'm confessing here, its something that tried to creep into mine. Beware.

The months during and following reading the Bible through, were some of the toughest and humbling times of my life. It wasn't the amount I was reading. It was what I was reading and the life experiences God gave to reinforce what I was reading. Don't be fooled. The hardest part about this challenge is not making the time limit. Its fighting Satan as he tries to keep you from the Treasure of God's Word.

Then why should I? Why go through the trouble?
I'm not saying that everyone should. But these are the reasons why I found reading so much in a short time, to be such a helpful growing experience. I tend to skip around a lot in my Bible reading, which can be good at times, but through reading God's Word in context I saw so much I had never seen before! And as Laura said, there's nothing magical about reading it through in “6 months”. But having a time limit teaches discipline. If you're like me and daily wanting to know the Lord's will and how you should walk, the more you read the clearer you see the best set of directions for life ever written.
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path."

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

Yeah, but thats a lot of reading.
You may struggle finding time in your day to read just one chapter a day, so some may ask, how in the world is reading more possible?
  • Plan Ahead- I recommend starting with ten chapters a day that way you've covered for the days when you really only have time for less than seven (the average amount to get it done in 6 months).
  • Calculate- If you're not convinced its doable or your discouraged, calculate how much time you spend on the internet, watching tv, or reading. Then compare that to how much time you spend in God's Word. Ask yourself, “Which is more important to me?”
  • Establish a habit- Let it become part of your normal routine. That way, when you go to bed at night, and you haven't done it, you know and feel something was missing from your day. But be careful, never let it become “just a habit” or simply part of your day. Don't make it “just a rule” to read certain amounts. We're not trying to put a guilt trip on ourselves. By establishing a habit we're only trying to condition or discipline our reading habits.
  • Pray- Before you begin, pray for understanding. Expect to hear from the Lord. Pray during and after. And listen to what He may be saying to you. Conversation with the Author is essential.
  • Meditate & Journal- as you read, or after you read write down what God's teaching you. Don't just rush on by. Since we're giving ourselves a time limit, its very important that we remember its ok to slow down and meditate. This is not a race-- We're trying to draw near and learn more of the Father!
  • Memorize- part of meditating, is memorization. If you're hungering and thirsting after righteousness then memorizing scripture is the best way. “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Reading and all these things CAN BE DONE! IT IS POSSIBLE!
Spiritual warfare? Much. But more than conquerers are we, through Him that loved us.

Spread the Word!

So far five people (via comments & facebook) have said they would like to read the Bible in 6 months. The numbers don't mean so much, but to think of the treasure of God's Word and how we as Christians take it for granted sometime, its so thrilling to see anyone excited about it!

I hope to post more with tips and advice both encouraging those who don't think they can do it, and for those who've already said they will. I don't have time right now, but hopefully soon.

Meanwhile, if you have a blog and you're joining the challenge, please feel free to use the image at left, to put in your sidebar and help spread [the reading of] The Word! Please link the image to this post.

I Hereby Resolve

I'm pretty bad when it comes to keeping resolutions. No, really. I am.

In October I purposed to do a physical exercise plan for 30 days. Just 30 days. I made it to like day 3. Maybe 4.

Last month I made a resolution to not listen to music while in the car, for 40 days. I try to spend my commutes, praying and singing. Oh singing. One day I got so tired of my own voice, I started blowing bubbles in my water by humming songs into the straw. I'm not even kidding.

So I need some help. >everyone nods their head< But probably not in the way you're thinking. I'm making a resolution, and this time, I have a proposition.

Starting January 1, I would like to read through the Bible in 6 months. Genesis to Revelation. And I want you to do it with me. Yes, you. In fact, I need you to, so I will stay motivated. ;)

This same challenge was presented to me last January, as a requirement for the discipleship training. It wasn't easy or convenient to say the least, but it was one of the best things I've ever done.

I'll leave the details up to you. I don't care if you read it straight through from beginning to end, or read several books at one time. [I'll link to a printable bible reading checklist when we get started.] It takes an average of 7 chapters a day just so you know, but as long as you're done by July 1st it doesn't matter how many you read daily.

I'll probably make a badge for you to put on your blog if you want-- to help spread the word about reading The Word! We can hold each other accountable and encourage others by what God is teaching us. Every week or so I'll try to post my progress, as well as share a little about what I'm learning. You're welcome to do the same on your blog and leave a comment with your link on my post. Or simply leave a comment letting us know how its going for you. I'm not encouraging competition, so even an honest "I'm not reading much lately" or "I haven't been getting much out of it" will do. We'll all learn to take each other at 'Face Value'.

If you're a teeny eeny bit interested in accepting the challenge, would you leave me a comment and let me know? You have almost a whole month to pray about it. You do not have to have a blog to participate. I'm going to seriously resolve to do this-- will you join me?

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.

Anna -Completed
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