Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

As yet another year draws to a close and the dawn of another approaches. I wonder where the year went! It seems that the older you get, the faster the days and the years go by. Maybe it has something to do with how busy you are too...

The other day, I got out a notepad to write a 'to do list' as such things do help keep me organized better. I hadn't used that particular pad for quite a while and I noticed on the front page a 'wish list' that I had written many months ago. Maybe almost a year ago. As I read through the list, I realized that all of those wishes had become realities except for one, minor item! I thought back to when and how it came to be on paper. I had read something about bringing our wants and wishes before the Lord in prayer and so I decided that I would do just that. I wrote the list and though I prayed over it a few times and then forgot about it till just a few days ago, God didn't forget! He remembered, answered my prayer and gave me the desires of my heart even when I hardly realized what He was doing. It was very special to me to realize that God, the One who rules over all, would care about insignificant, unworthy me, so much that He would remember the wishes of my heart and make them not wishes any more but realities!

As I look back over the year, I can see over and over again God's goodness in so many ways. I am thankful for the blessings of a bed to sleep in, a house to live in, running water, food to eat and all the temporal things that many lack. I am very very thankful for religious freedom, and that I can read God's word. Every day I appreciate it more. Though I am thankful for many things, I am most thankful for God's love for us and all that it entails. I am thankful for the privilege of prayer and that God really does hear us. I really do believe He hears us when we pray for you can read about an experience I had by clicking here that was nothing short of answered prayer and a miracle. (Of course there are many other reasons I believe He answers prayer but that was one experience.)

I don't know what 2010 will hold, but I know that there is a God in heaven that I can trust and you can trust Him too! He loves you and cares about the things that you care about too so don't be afraid to bring your "wish list" to the Lord this coming year and see what God will do for you. I am! "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalms 37:4-5

May this coming year be a good year for you. May you see God's goodness more each day and may the desires and wishes of your heart become realities according to His will. Keep pressing forward and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Little Things Part I

“It's not the 'biggest' things that count and make the biggest show.
It's the little things that people do that make the old world go.”


He was a very tall, very important policeman, with a bright blue suit and a row of shining brass buttons.

And she was an old, old woman with withered cheeks and eyes that still held little pieces of dreams that had never quite gone away, and an apron into which she kept putting things as she gathered them from the street, down the crowded slum district.

The policeman had a duty to perform. He had to see what it was that the old, old woman was collecting, so he asked if he might look into her apron.

“Oh, no, please!” She begged. “It isn't anything of any worth. Nobody would want it. I know it isn't anything important at all, sir.”

“But let me see it,” the man insisted.

Finally she opened the faded apron and officer's eyes saw a pile of broken chips of glass.

“But what are you doing with them?” he asked. “I thought you had something valuable.”

“I was only picking up the glass to save the feet of the children who play here,” she explained. “You see, there isn't any grass around and there aren't any parks. This is their only playground, and I don't want them to cut their feet.”

It was a little thing to do, but it was a wonderfully beautiful thing. After all, though we may not all serve in the court of the king, with ermine and velvets and wondrous jewels, we may all pick up glass. We may do the simple thing and the humble thing to help others.

Taken from: A Treasury of Devotional Aids for Home and School

Monday, December 21, 2009

"...be a blessing."

I was restless. My elder sister had just left - left me at almost a fork. What should I do with my life? I didn't know. I needed direction, some purpose. I'd done my exam. I didn't have anymore pieces to pour effort into. There were lots of options staring at me. Just which one? It was during this week that I got the thought to write out what I was looking forward to in heaven. I was so excited about what I learned, and how special it was. I told Elyssa about it... I was so happy. A week before I'd come across her blog through my sister's. Telling her about it - I got an idea. Why not share the blog with her, and when I learn things I can share it on the blog? She agreed and sent me the link to be a co-blogger. I got onto picking a profile picture and writing the 'about me'. Mum sat beside me, giving ideas - you're an Aussie girl...... she gave me a few ideas and I started writing. Then she added something that shocked me. "write - my goal in life is to be a blessing." It was a noble goal - but was it truly mine? It's what I wanted it to be, but I knew in all honestly it wasn't the total truth. Why the dishes still weren't washed up. I hadn't done a whole heap that afternoon. I had just been discouraged. I completed the blurb and then posted it. Jobs had to be done. There were some that couldn't be skipped. Time ticked past, and it was evening. I was eager to write about what I'd learned. I glanced at the clock. It wasn't an option. Bed was the only choice. I reminded Mum to wake me early so that I could write it in the fresh of the morning. Bed.

I did write that article. You've probably read it. I still can feel the thrill, just thinking about heaven. The day slid into evening again. So tired! I wrote a list of the things I wanted to achieve the next day. I read the list and paused for a moment. The pencil moved and I added to it: "Be a blessing (in a big way.)" The morning started... before I wanted it to. The air had a slight chill to it. Bed was so nice! I was sleepy. I jumped up and dressed. Took Thatch (our pet emu chick) down to the chook pen. I knew what was next. I went to the buckets outside of the back veranda door. They contained the soaking barley for the goats. I looked in the bucket. Dipped my hand in the cold water. Then I noticed: so much smut to wash out! Twenty minutes later, the smutt was all washed out and I'd made the feed. I got Tutzi and milked her. It felt good to be the only one up. Mum? She hadn't slept well. Satisfaction wrapped around me. Cedar was empty soon too.
I began making pancakes. The day started. It was hard just to listen to Mum's (seemingly) incessant instructions and obey them right away.

The weeks have passed since that day. I don't write that reminder down anymore. The moments and minutes are filled with it. I'm happy. I've found direction. I try and see how much I can get done before I'm asked to do it. Then to feel the peace, the happiness when after I get told to do each task... and to be able to say with a big smile, "I've done it." As the rice on the stove boils and I rest a minute from cutting apples up to go with it. After I pour the cream with mango, pineapple, sunflower seeds, lychees... I write. I realize how blessed I am. To find the joy that there is, in serving others.
"Thank-You Father, for teaching me to be a blessing. For helping me develop my character, and preparing me for your call. For helping me to obey without waiting. Thank-You so much. I love You."


~Christella

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Presence of Angels

I was reading something about Angels one evening and all of a sudden I thought "Wow! There are Angels in my room!" I knew this before, but somehow it impressed me in a different way this time and just the joy and thrill and peace that flooded my soul was almost unspeakable! I felt that if only my eyes could be opened I would be able to 'see' them and if only my hands would be able to 'feel' I could touch them.

As I lay in the darkness looking up, my heart just went out in love and thankfulness to God. To sense the Angels presence and feel the peace that comes from a heart that's right with God and trusting that you are in the hands of God is something that no one can understand unless they experience it for themselves.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalms 34:8)

It was so sweet to fall asleep with those thoughts and feeling the presence of Angels....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From Jesus' Heart

I will extend to you peace,
Like a river... I'll fill you & flood you with it.
I promise - my mercy will never cease.
I want our hearts to be knit.


I've called you by your name.
The sins are no more: I've forgiven you,
I've taken the blame.
The pain I bore because -I love you.

Don't give up, don't lose heart -
I'll lead you by the hand
To heaven. The glory, I want to share with you a part.
Believe; trust: I'll finish my work in you.

Today, I'm waiting, looking forward to seeing you...
Oh, I can barely wait. Stay true.
When you meet me at heaven's golden gate,
I'll give you a hug - I wish I didn't have to wait.

But until then, live in Me.
In My strength you can overcome all.
Keep climbing, since at the top, there Me, you'll see.
I'll pick you up when you fall...
Because I love you.

~Christella

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Empty Faces

Empty faces, I saw them all around me. From eye examiners, to secretaries, to salesmen, to the common person. I watched as one man came into the shop to pick up some glasses. He seemed to be living as if he had no purpose, no goal, no nothing. There was no spring in his steps, no smile on his face, no ambition, no aspiration. I saw some who seemed to be in deep discouragement their faces dark and sad. I saw faces that were lonely, faces that were wrinkled with age, trials and pain. Empty faces.. all around me.. oh how sad.

One little old lady was missing a leg seemed sad and lonely. I looked at her and smiled. Her face immediately shone and a broad smile crossed her face as she said hello. I said hello and gave her a broader smile and continued with my shopping. It made my heart a little lighter to know I was able to bring a little sunshine into a persons life.

I walked into a public restroom and there was a little girl her face clouded over with frustration. Her hands were covered with soap as she tried so hard to get the water to come on for her. It just wasn't working. Soon we were laughing and giggling as we tried to get the censers to sense our presence and turn the water on! In a few minutes a happy little girl was headed out the door.

Even if I was able to bring some happiness to a couple people, there were still so many others I longed to do something for. I longed do or say something to fill those empty faces with purpose, with joy and with courage. I saw a vast mission field. Not a mission field out in the jungles but right here 'under my nose'.. people need the Lord and wherever I am in the midst of them is a mission field.

"Lord, please teach me and show how to fill those empty faces with a knowledge of You, of Your love, Your justice, Your mercy, Your forgiveness, Your joy and Your peace that they may be able to experience it. That they may have a purpose in living and find peace and joy that only you can give."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Worth it!

"The (Arnold) Pent's today," I typed in the google search bar. I'd just re-read their book, Ten Pea's in a Pod. It was so inspiring. I loved it. I thought about the family who had traveled a million miles for God, during the day. While I worked and thought... I thought about them.
"Did you know that the three oldest boys could recite the New Testament word for word?" I had to tell Mum.
In my head I wondered what they'd do, in different things. I laughed out loud about things I'd read, while I worked - things... like when one was going for a run at night, and a truck glided towards him silently, then honked the air horn. Poor boy jumped like a rocket.
But they were courageous and believing too. Like when no matter what, they'd have worship. On the road, or even in a room while staying in another's home.
Once, they were invited to a meeting. When they arrived they realized that it was a beer fest. I feel, how much they must have been 'out of their comfort zone.' But they shared, sang and recited the Bible still. And God worked with them. Through them, lives were brought to Jesus.
Reading the book, they become part of my life. I was excited about them and their experiences. I lived them.

I read other books, and didn't think about this book so much anymore. You could say I forgot it. I started getting right into reading the Bible. As I did I began imagining what Jesus would do in my situation. My brother came to me once, with a scraped back. I put papaw cream on it. It was bad. I could sense how it must feel. Then I saw in his back, a snippet of Jesus'. Ouch! The stripes lacerated into his back. And I felt the pain. I wished I could run a caressing hand over it, and put some cream on it too.


Whenever I could, I read the Bible.... when I was sorting the clod-lets out of the kamut. When the job needed full attention I sang. ...and thought about it. I talked Jesus.
I'm learning that what I read, is what I live. What I think, is a reflection of what I'm passionate about. Thinking about Jesus is refreshing. Reading the Bible is the worth it.

~Christella

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perspectives and Attitudes

One day, we were out gathering firewood for the winter. I was glad that I finally caught up and had all the logs loaded into the truck while dad was busy trying to get the chain back on that had come off the chainsaw. The ground looked so soft with all those pine needles that I thought that I would lay down for a few minutes since there wasn't anything else for me to do right then.

Looking up into the sky, it was so beautiful with the blue background and fluffy white clouds floating around. As I looked around at things upside down, everything looked so much more beautiful! All the dead branches and the ugly things actually looked different. They had a sort of beauty that I didn't see before. I started thinking about perspectives and attitudes.

Everything that the human eye beholds, the brain flips the image upside down. So when we think we are looking at things right side up, we are actually looking at them upside down. So when you look upside down, you're actually looking right side up. If that makes sense.

It's so easy to look at life upside down. It's so easy to see the ugliness, the heartache, the wrongs and dwell upon these things. It so easy to complain about our 'lot in life', but this just makes us unpleasant to be around and brings a dark cloud around us.

However, we can look at life right side up and we should! We can choose to see the beauty and the blessings in life. We can choose to forgive, we can choose to love, we can choose to trust God in the uncertainties and sorrows of life and we can choose to be thankful and have an attitude of gratitude.

I read a poem once that basically said that we can thank God for dirty dishes to wash because that means that we've been able to eat. Now I often think of it as I wash dishes and say in my heart "Thank you Lord for the dishes to wash because we've had yet another good meal." We are blessed because there are many in this world who are hungry, who are starving. That's just one example of finding something to be thankful for.

Laying in those pine needles I was inspired to look at life the real right side up and I pray that God will help me to have the right perspective and an attitude of gratitude always.

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.” (Psalms 112:7)

“Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:12)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blog Sharing

I know I'm late and I really intended to do this sooner but somehow it got away from me. A dear friend Christella and I decided to share a blog together and so I wanted to give her a hearty welcome!

Though we live half a world apart and haven't met personally yet(my dad has met her and her family and we've been friends for a few years), our friendship in Christ has drawn our hearts close to one another and having her as a friend has been really special to me. She truly is a little jewel!

Pressing Forward has now become "our" blog instead of "my" blog and I'm excited to have her as my co-blogger! I know her posts will add lots to making this little corner of the web a greater blessing!

Welcome Stella!!! *hugs*
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