Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Beholding the King

"Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar."
Isaiah 33:17

I guess I'm somewhat of a "literature snob," I love classics, and at the same time have a grudge against most current fiction. It has bothered me for years to see the number of new Christian books turned out for quantity - and not quality. I have always wished that excellence was a given in Christian literature... rather than occasionally present in a rare gem on a dusty bookshelf. There are so many series that are gripping page turners; yet leave you with the feeling that your time was wasted in the reading, for nothing of value was left with you and it was often poorly written to boot.

Another troubling thing about fiction (this goes for movies too) is that morals are often taught by showing evil, as if we can only see the pearl once we have already been in the mud with the swine. We can't get away from violence - it is an ever-present fact in this sinful and eroding world. What we can do is not allow it to affect us, always keeping our eyes fixed on the King in His beauty.

Isaiah 33:15-16 says "He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions,who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure."

This righteous and upright man actually "stop his ears" and "shuts his eyes" to keep from being tainted by evil. This man is not foolishly ignoring evil - he is actively aware of it and on his guard to keep from falling. He is "wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove." I had to think and compare this to the frequent feeding of our minds through dubious movies and books, sadly even some labeled "Christian."

Some questions to consider before beginning a book or movie; is it profitable, or could you use your time more wisely? Does it needlessly teach through the graphic picture of evil? Would it cloud your eyes from beholding the King?

Dear Lord, help me to keep my mind pure, ever beholding You and Your beauty. Let me set no evil thing before my eyes - rather keeping them fixed on You, for You are holy. Let nothing blur my vision of You as my King in His beauty and holiness.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Boring Day, and His Awesome Grace

Today was just one of those days... it simply began wrong. It couldn't have been the wrong side of the bed - - - because my bed is against the wall. Maybe it was because I didn't have any coffee this morning... and yes, last semester did turn me into a coffee drinker!! Maybe it was my headache, or the weather change, or maybe it was just me.

Whatever the cause, everything seemed wrong today, and my glum face was a witness that I was allowing my bad attitude to get the better of me. "How are you, Jen?" my co-workers were asking. I would heave a sigh, and say, "Fine." "Oooh, you look like you're in a mood." my co-worker Sam said.

I was in a mood. Work was just so boring today, because I was willing it to be boring in my mind. The flowers were boring, the conversation was annoying, thinking was painful with my hurting head, and through everything the snow was coming down harder, thicker and harder still.
Dad called and asked if I wanted a ride home. "No, I'll be fine, I'll go slow." I said. I should have let me drive me home...

My car got stuck when I was leaving the parking lot. Josh was ahead of me, and he left his car parked at the traffic light and ran back to push me out. It worked, and I started towards home very slowly, the last I looked at the speedometer I was going 20 mph. Then I lost control at the top of a hill.

I slid and skidded down the hill, first I thought I was going to hit the guard rail, then a tree, then I finally did a partial doughnut and landed backed into a barbed wire fence. No way, this wasn't happening to me, not again!!

I was fine, I didn't have a scratch. My car had a scratch, but that's all it had. My Lord is there even when I am failing, and I felt such a failure today, for I wasn't allowing His joy to light my life. He is always faithful.

Someone called 911 and a tow truck, so there were all these firemen running around, and I was at a loss at what to do with my dad on the way and they were setting up a road block. Everything worked out in the end, and I'm grateful that in this type of setting they expect you to be ditsy, for I certainly fit the profile. Everyone was wonderful; with the exception of one person whom I kept wanting to hit over the head with my purse. (He made a couple comments; I'm glad I resisted the urge!! :) )

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him." Psalms 91: 45-15

My Lord keep His promises on my good days, and my bad days. He is with me when I am spilling over with joy, and even when I allow myself to be glum. I am so thankful that His protection and care does not depend on whether I deserve it or not, for I certainly am undeserving. He cares for me, and I am so thankful for every day I have...

And I've realized - that a boring day, is not necessarily a bad day!! :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Those Wonderful Yankees!! :D

My accounting professor made a statement today that I had to take down; I added it to my list of favorite quotes from teachers. Here it is:

"The Yankees have to have somebody to play against... that's why there are all those other baseball teams."

!!! This made me laugh out loud in class; a pretty major feat seeing that it was my 8:00 am. (It's rather difficult for me to see and/or appreciate any type of humor at that hour of the morning. ;) )

Anyway; not like I'm a real sports fan, but I like the Red Sox. I do... seriously! Okay so really I just picked it to be different from my friend who loves the Yankees - - - well I thought it was a good reason! Besides, I like Boston. :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Psalm 56:8
"You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Psalms 31:14-16
"But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, 'You are my God.'
My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. "

Psalm 17:1-6
A prayer of David.
"Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips.
May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
As for the deeds of men—by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer."

Psalms 17:15
"And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."

Is not the Lord - who holds my tears - worthy of my trust?