I am sure that many of you know that my brothers were shipped out to start ALERT on Monday and have seen the blog post on Andrews blog (www.somelilguy.blogspot.com) -if you haven't you should really go and check it out :) - Please continue to pray for them! :) I have chatted with one of the girls that I got to know through EXCEL that works down at the Big Sandy Campus where my brothers will be staying. It was Monday night when I talked with her and she was able to catch me up somewhat on how the guys are doing. For those of you that may want to know, here is their platoon number and squad they each are on:
Nate: Squad-Delta; 2nd Platoon
Josh: Squad-Alfah; 1st Platoon
Andrew: Squad-Echo; 2nd Platoon
There are 32 guys in Basic from what I understand and there are 5 squads all together.
I don't have any specific prayer requests at this point in time however, I am still going to list some that are on my heart as their sister:
1. Strength, endurance, and protection- that the Lord would keep them strong, especially as their muscles begin to get tired from all the strain of hard tasks.
2. Scripture memory- Many of you may know that they are needing to memorize the whole book of 1st Peter and will start being accountable for that soon-the amount per week ranges from 16-18 verses, so prayer in this area is crucial! :)
3. Flexibility and Openness- to that of what the Lord has to teach them through their drill instructors, those around them, the tasks at hand, and everyday struggles that they encounter
4. A desire to be made willing to be willing in all areas that Lord is stretching them in whether this is character qualities, physical endurance, dying to their flesh, and other areas that are hard to name
5. That when strength is hardly enough, that they would remember that Christ, living within them is strength enough and that He would thoroughly encourage them, especially as He is the only One they can run to. :) That they would keep their eyes focused on Him recognizing that His grace is truly sufficient.
I am sure that more prayer requests will come however, these are ones that are on my heart. I am also sure that the Lord has placed other specific prayer requests on your heart and possibly your family's heart, and I ask that you continue to pray for those as well! :) Knowing the people are praying will get the guys through so much and I thank you in advance for your prayers and desire of encouragement!
Lord bless you all in huge and mighty ways as He, through His precious timing, is bring much into your path to strengthen you and mold you into the likeness of Him! :) Thank you!
F.Y.I. I am still planning on starting a blog specifically for the guys however, I will let you know both on Andrews blog and here what that address would be....until then, please continue to check back either here or Andrew's blog for updates! :)
Sunday, March 23, 2008
He Is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
Christ the Lord is Risen Today:
"Christ the Lord is risen today. Alleluia!
Sons of man and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high. Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav'ns, and earth, reply: Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King. Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once, He all doth save. Alleluia!
Why thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love's redeeming work is done. Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won. Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise. Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise. Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led. Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head. Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise. Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!"
I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful and very memorable Easter that is filled with celebration; for this celebration is truly a victorious one! :) Love to you all!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Here again is another post that I hope will be a blessing to you! :) I was reading yet again out of my devotional and came across these words,
"Behold, I say to you,
This is the way. Walk in it.
I am the Way.
Walk in Me.
I am the Truth. Believe Me(trust in Me.)
I am the Life. Live in Me, and share My life with others.
For you know not what I do now,
but you will know hereafter.
(Now we see in a glass darkly, but then, face-to-face. Now our grasp
of the ways of God is incomplete, but as we move on, we
come to understand what He has been endeavoring to do in our lives.)
Rejoice not so much in victories as in the fact that I am leading.
Not so much for My blessings as for My love that prompts them.
Serve Me with gladness,
not for the ultimate nor present reward,
but for the thrill of knowing that we labor together;
that I stand beside you in every enterprise, however trivial."
Reading this today as part of my devotions really challenged my thinking. :) Here it is saying that the Lord desires our praise, service, and calls us to rejoice in ways that would not naturally come easy for us. He calls us to rejoice in Him for His greatness whether we see it or not in our time of tribulation and struggle. He desires praise for more then that of His blessings though He loves to give and desires us to have them. And finally serve Him knowing that He is walking next to you every step of the way rather than focusing on the possibility of the reward to follow your great endeavor or achievement. :)
God is a simple God. It is in our desire of full comprehension of who He is, our expectations, and thoughts of impossibles that He, undesirably, is put in a "box." Sometimes, we feel as though we need to change Him in order that the situation around us can be changed when in actuality, He desires to use the "situation" to change us and draw us closer to Him. He sees the ultimate purpose for trials and tribulations in our life and therefore, desires us to "be" so that He will "do."
God has great plans for each and everyone of us! :) It is until we choose to let go of fear, step aside and let Him work, that He can accomplish His great work and unfold that which is in store!
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" -Hebrews 13:20-21
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Pain is something in our lives that is unavoidable, whether this pain is based emotionally, physically, or spiritually. It is said by Tom Laundry, Coach of the Dallas Cowboy's football team, "The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don't want to do in order to achieve what they've always wanted to be." This statement is true to many other aspects of life whether you're a pianist, in ministry, a teacher, a student, or even a singer. This list is insufficient, yet obviously the main issue is that whatever you do in life, in order to aspire to the next level, you must go through the pain to get there. It is our response to the pain that influences the advancement in the process.
In my life right now, the Lord has prescribed a certain portion of pain to mold, impact, reshape, chastise, and even challenge me in this "lap" in which the Lord has called me to run. You see, it has been my response to this pain that matters the most. Yes, pain is pain, and it hurts, not matter the portion or part of life that it influences, however, if rejected, it would be easy to say that I would be settling for giving up and quiting. Please understand though, that there is a huge difference in realizing that you are unable to deal with this pain yourself and that it will be through the Lord's strength that will bring you to the other side, then that of pridefully choosing to quit and giving up altogether. I cannot sit here and write to you and say that my first inclination is to die to myself and choose to "rather suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." (Hebrews 11:25) However, I can say that choosing to avoid pain has done nothing for me but brought more pain and further frustration in my walk with the Lord.
Over the past couple of years, I have come to love and adore Elisabeth Elliot for all that she has been through and the wisdom that she pours forth in her many books that she has written and would love to be just like her. Yet, I recently realized that the contents of her books came from that of the experience of pain. The pain that was prescribed to her by the Lord even before she was born, or had the incredible influence that she has right now. It is through her experience in pain that she has greatly influenced and touched many lives all around the world. It is through this pain that the Lord continues to work and show Himself strong as the pages of her books are read, studied, and poured over by the millions of people over the years. It is through this pain that she has ministered to me and my heart because, though knowing her as an acquaintance, I feel as though intimately, she knows exactly the pain that my heart is experiencing at this moment.
"The whole Christian life is a process of bringing the self life down to death in order that the life of Jesus may be manifest in us." This is quoted from her book called, Be Still My Soul, which is now become my favorite book and is highly recommended. This quote, I feel is so relevant to where I am in my walk with the Lord and will be a good reminder for the future as "valleys" occur among the "hill-top experiences" It is easy to say that you want to be like someone however, when it comes down to the challenge, it is hard to walk through the experiences and jump over the hurdles that are required in order for us to get there. Bringing the "self life down to death" is not easy for us to do, however because the Lord loves us and desires that we be like His Son, His grace poured out is truly sufficient.
Hebrews 11 is all about the "Heroes of faith" however, over and over again you subconsciously see that it is by His grace that they were able to do what He called them to do. At the same time though, those who walked this road by faith knew the Lord so intimately that doubt was easily chased away with the truth and reality of who God is and was in their lives. Though they may not have understood the pain and why is was there in the midst of their lives, they still knew that God's grace was sufficient. It was by their obedience in faith that they accepted the pain in order to achieve that which the Lord called them to achieve. Is was by faith and a great knowledge of who the Lord was that Elisabeth Elliot was able to walk the road of pain that the Lord set her forth on. You see now as the last chapter of her life unfolds, the richest and greatest blessings and wisdom have been poured forth upon her. She truly has earned so many jewels and each came with a price, however, I am sure that she would not trade any of them for anything.
As an encouragement to you and myself, know that Hebrews 11 was written for those like you and I that so desire to be like the heroes of faith described in this chapter, however would rather escape the pain that goes along with this grand achievement. Remember that the road ahead is not easy yet we are still called to "lay aside every weight (whatever this may be) and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." When discouragement sets in, "consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." Remember also that "for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
There is a season to everything and the experience of pain is included. :) Don't give up in the valley or in the hardest times. We are not to know the end of things but are asked to hold fast the promises of God. He will give you the grace sufficient in sustaining you through the battle!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
"Excellence enjoys being on the way to...
Perfection has to be the Best
Excellence does Their Very Best
Perfection Worth= Performance
Excellence Worth= Who Made Me
Excellence vs. Perfection:
Perfection is being right.
Excellence is being willing to be wrong.
Perfection is fear.
Excellence is taking a risk.
Perfection is anger and frustration.
Excellence is powerful.
Perfection is control.
Excellence is spontaneous.
Perfection is judgement.
Excellence is accepting.
Perfection is taking.
Excellence is giving.
Perfection is pressure.
Excellence is natural.
Perfection is the destination.
Excellence is the Journey."
- Unknown Author