7-Dec-2004

 

The angels announced Christ’s birth and then broke into singing, worshiping the Lord incarnate. The shepherds too, praised God for all the things that they had heard and seen.

This last week I have had many opportunities to prepare my heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Immediately upon our arrival home we were assimilated into several choirs. First we were recruited to fill out the alto ranks in a homeschool youth choir led by Mrs. Lassiter (of Sound Foundation fame). Our initial debut was at the George Bush Presidential library where we sang under gently falling soap bubbles (the closest we’ll get to snow this year). The next night we sang for the opening night of “Christmas in the Park,” where the city council turns on the Christmas lights in our central park. We are still booked to sing at a church, another time in the park and finally for all of the parents. I’m grateful to Mrs. Lassiter for bringing about the chance to proclaim abroad the miracle of Jesus’ birth, just like the shepherds.

After practice on Wednesday, and performances on Thursday and Friday, we were really warmed up for our church choir. We had a rehearsal Saturday morning then sang our Christmas program Sunday night. Several new people showed up and we praised God for the chance to proclaim the gospel to them.

One of the songs had some really neat words that really spoke to me. It asked “…what should we offer to God? Burnt sacrifice? Treasure? What is worthy to lay at His feet?” He doesn’t want any of those things, but “a heart full of love for His people.” This is my prayer while I am here at home, and later when I go back to college, that I will have a heart so full of God’s love that I can’t help but let it overflow to those around me. To give to others the same sacrificial love that He has given to me. He that loveth not, knoweth not God.

5-Dec-2004

Quotes and helpful hints from the job site:

An electrician’s job is to make ends meet. – Dad

Too much is better than too little – Amy

“I’m too short!” – Amy

“You seem fine to me. Your legs reach all the way to the ground don’t they?” – Dad

A magnetized drill bit is worth it’s weight in dropped screws – Amy

Work this Friday went very well. Knowing my aversion to electrical – not to mention a deficiency in skill – I was assigned to help Mr. Russell (a man from our church) hang drywall. Now, I have never tried my hand at this type of work either but it looked like fun so I picked up a drill and set to work. My job was to put a few screws in while Mr. Russell held the sheet in place, then finish the rest of them while he cut the next piece.

After a while I realized that Mr. Russell was fully capable of doing the job all by himself but he allowed me participate in his work. He would patiently wait for me to set my ladder in place when he could have easily reached up and screwed the piece in himself. He taught without having to spell out each step of the way or constantly correct and micro-manage, the only thing he said was to make sure the screws were not sticking out too far. I learned by watching what he did and copying him.

As I worked I began to think how this resembled the relationship that God has with us, how He is fully capable of doing His work but He allows us to help. We start with what we can handle and as time goes on and our skill increases we are given more and more of the task.

By the time lunch came around I was able to cut and install some of the smaller simpler parts while Mr. Russell took the hard ones. Our pace started picking up. At one point, another worker who knew more about the whole business than either of us, came and gave a few helpful hints on how we could improve some of our methods. Instead of clinging to his pride Mr. Russell deferred in a gentle obedience that caused me to gain great respect for the other man and follow Mr. Russell’s lead in adopting the new technique.

At this point my mind was whirling with analogies on discipleship. I was learning by following Mr. Russell and when a greater authority came along his response determined my response; both to him and to any instruction that authority night give later. It was scary for me to see how much of an influence I might have on those I disciple in the faith. They would watch my response to God’s direction and then implement that into their own lives, whether for better of worse.

The last step came at the end of the day when my sister came to ask for something to do. I didn’t know everything, but I had learned enough to have a grasp on the work and was able to begin her in the job – I had a disciple too.

1-Dec-2004

 

We had our first frost this morning! It was so cold but so pretty, all of the colors that were common place the day before were now veiled with a filmy white curtain. As the sun rose a steamy fog appeared on the ponds, half hiding the frozen cattails that stood sentry on the banks. All was calm, all was bright. What a perfect way to start December – a winter wonderland of purity, blotting out all that had been there before.

It’s funny that even though everything was one color, it was far from boring. The covering of all distracting and competing colors caused there to be greater focus on the phenomenon of the frost and then a looking towards the sun and the effect that it had on the the whole landscape. The ground sparkled as it reflected the sun, yes, even the very rocks cried out, shining forth God’s glory. The smoking ponds sent their sweet savors up to heaven while the birds sang praises. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

30-Nov-2004

 Some people count their chickens before they hatch; well today I was counting my problems before they happened. I was at the job site with dad and had been trying to install a plug outlet for over an hour. Problem after problem came up and I was getting frustrated, I mean, I didn’t even want to do electrical, but I had finished all the other jobs that dad had ready for me. And now this silly plug wouldn’t work.

This wasn’t all, outside it was raining and the temperature was starting to drop. This probably meant there would be no soccer tonight. Due to different circumstances I hadn’t been able to play for over three weeks now (rain, Thanksgiving, ect.). Plus Thursday night (our other soccer night) was booked with a choir performance, which would put it at a whole month! Life is tough.

As I was thinking all of this to myself I realized what a grouch I was being and all because I was benched on one perspective. There is the verse that says “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God” oftentimes this means looking at what happens from a different angle. I started with the job, what a blessing to be able to work with my dad and help out with the college payments at the same time. The commute to the job was an hour, just enough time to write a practice essay for my upcoming English Comp test or study some of the practice questions. Looking down at my newly installed plug I was very thankful for the days I had plumbing jobs or got to tear down walls. I was also grateful for my sisters who liked the electrical better and worked on it almost every day.

Once my attitude changed, things started looking up. Instead of being impatient when the customer showed up right before we were going to leave I was happy for the extra study opportunity. Then as we headed out and dad called home we found out that soccer was still on for that night. When we got home my little brother asked how my day went and I said “great!” then suddenly realized that it was. Obeying God’s command to be thankful totally turned things around, praise Him! Then to top it all off, and maybe just to show me that He loved me, I found that a package had arrived that afternoon. We had accidentally left our cleats in Michigan and had asked someone to mail them to us and here they were. God knew just when we would need them, His timing is perfect.

26-Nov-2004

  From the very start I want to say that the purpose of this site is to testify the great acts of God and the wonderfully real way that He works in my life.

  Upon being introduced to this whole web ring by a “chili pepper girl” I became desirous of having one of my own sites. I debated back and forth as to whether or not it would be a wise use of my time. I also wondered what my goal was in having this site as I have often tended to create too much focus on myself and what I’m doing. As I was praying about starting a site, an idea suddenly popped into my head that must have come from the Lord, . This idea united my current prayer with another prayer I’ve had since I arrived home.

  You see, on the plane trip from Michigan to Texas I had some time to think and reflect on the last several months. In doing so I realized that I had lost the vision that had caused me to enter college in the first place. I had choices to make and lacked a guideline to base them on. (I’m not talking about choosing between good and evil but what should I participate in, what should I skip, what should I take up, what should I drop) I talked to my parents and asked them to pray with me for a renewal of purpose. I prayed and sat back to wait for some incredible commitment to be required of me. Instead God came in His still and quiet way reminding me of my earlier decision to adhere to Acts 20:24 and to testify His gospel – one of those concepts that are so easy yet so hard. In this reminder I found the challenge and purpose I needed while also experiencing the settling of my spirit from it’s previous state of anxiety.

   All this to say, God said I could have this site if I used it to further His gospel and bring to remembrance His works. Knowing my tendancy to focus on MY doings and not God’s I ask you as my readers to keep me acountable in my content. If I fail to keep under the guidelines of Phillipians 4:8 or lapse into my own glory, please comment and get me back on track. Please pray that I would honor Christ and acknowledge Him in all of my ways.

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