Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Honor and majesty are before Him;Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Psalm 96:6
Monday, February 26, 2007
I need this verse for myself today...
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Yesterday was refreshing for me in every way. I took a much needed mental break from work, went out for a very long drive through the mountains, enjoyed the beautiful afternoon and got some much needed fresh air. There was nothing stressful, soul dampering or grumpy about yesterday. I found my center again and felt rested. Took a few photos also.
Today, however, I went back to work. I wanted to go back with a different attitude. I wanted to be joyful in my job, thankful that I have a job and a shining beacon of happiness for those that can't seem to get away from the grumps.
But I couldn't find it in me. I couldn't find the joy for being there. It was going to be harder than I thought. How can one rejoice always? How can one be thankful for everything? Its hard! Its going to take work & effort and even some force to make it come about.
So I start slowly. I have to find things that bring me joy. My friend Barb gave me a good start. Yesterday we had a visit & she gave me this hilariously fun pen that has fur and a bobble on it (which I glued eyeballs on) Every time I wrote with this pen today I had joy because I found it hilarious. I used it all day.
Also, yesterday when I was out driving, I was listening to the Sheryl Crow song "Soak Up The Sun" and realized that it truly applied to me. "I'm gonna soak up the sun, gonna tell everyone to lighten up! I got no one to blame, so every time I feel lame I'm lookin up" First of all, everyone I work with DOES need to lighten up but I probably won't be the one to tell them that. But I can hopefully be sun to them. Also, I don't have anyone to BLAME for my attitude. Just cuz they are grumpy doesn't mean I have to be so if I'm feeling LAME I will try to find some sunshine. And I like the last line "I'm lookin up". If I can't find my sunshine or joy, I should 'look up' and ask God to help me find it cuz it might not be within me to find all on my own.
So I wrote on a mini post-it today "Soak up the Sun" and drew a little sun in the corner. My reminder to lighten up & find some joy.
Its just the small things, baby steps, when trying to form a new habit, that will help the most. I definitely won't be able to be one who walks around with a giant joyful grin at all times, but I want to keep rejoicing in my spirit. Bit by bit, little by little and with a little help from above, I will find myself rejoicing. Maybe not always, but I'm workin on it!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I'm at home today, taking a Mental Health Day from work. Sometimes it gets to be a stressful atmosphere at the office where I work, especially when we all work in such close proximity. When one person is cranky or stressed out, everyone feels it. Lately, its been getting to me, yesterday especially and it kept me awake half the night fretting about it. So, I decided to take myself a 'sick day' and stay home. Not that I'm feeling unwell, just needed a mental break from the politics and tension. I suppose its a little unethical to take a sick day when I'm not really sick, but I think its for the best. Sometimes, when tensions build up around me, I'm afraid I may say or do something I will regret. So, this is a much better solution. Take a day and center myself again.
So, here I am. I've done dishes, laundry, baked muffins and now I'm listening to some worship music to put myself in a good frame of mind. And its working. Its just what I needed. Got a hot chocolate on one side of me and an open Bible on the other. I'm purifying the last few weeks of office uglies from my mind & heart and refreshing my spirit.
And its a beautiful sunny day, somewhat windy & chilly but clear blue skies, another way to renew my soul. I will probably take myself out for a scenic drive today, maybe somewhere I can get out & walk a bit with my camera. Definitely where the fresh air can cool my lungs and the views can lift me up.
Also, I have my kitten inside today with me (see above photo) His crazy kitten antics are another thing that lift me up. Sideways leaps, tail chasing, shadow attacking and much more to make me laugh. And then, when he's tired out, he'll climb on my lap, purring like a Hemi, and snuggle up to sleep.
Everybody needs a day like this every now & then!
"This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" Psalm 118:24
"To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul." Psalm 25:1
Monday, February 19, 2007
(thought of you Lone Grey Squirrel)
"These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good." Psalm 104:27-28
I guess the beavers have been BUSY in the last couple weeks. Most of the trees in this park have chicken wire wrapped around the bottoms to prevent this but I guess those clever beavers found the one tree that didn't. I chuckled as I took the photo. But then I realized that this was one of the nicest trees in the area for beautiful fall foliage. I have several shots of its vibrant yellow leaves against a saphire blue sky. A couple more nights and this tree will be ancient history. Food, shelter & dam materials! Whatcha gonna do?
I have yet to see any of these beavers up close, but at sunset, I have seen them swimming out in their lagoon. Its quite a big lagoon/pond that they've created for themselves and they are heavily protected from prying eyes or visitors pets because the pond is surrounded by reeds/bull rushes. It is a beautiful haven at all times of the year for me.
Still iced over
I never cease to be amazed at how well God provides for His animals.
"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6:26
"He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry. " Psalm 147:9
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Is it possible to find true Christian prophets anymore? With the Bible so full of prophecies revealed through dreams & revelations & angels, does that sort of thing happen in this day & age still?
The world puts forth fortune tellers, palm readers, tarot card readers and psychics. And most of us have heard of Jean Dixon's predictions. But accurate or not, I would say most of these prophecies are not of God. Aside from the Bible, does God still speak to people about the future. Can we find meaning in our dreams anymore or dismiss them just as dreams?
I'm a very vivid dreamer and I believe vivid dreaming is possibly genetic. My immediate family all dream vivid dreams. I feel sorry for the people that claim they don't dream or don't ever remember their dreams. But those that I have met that claim to be vivid dreamers also claim the same trait of their family members. Perhaps it has to do with developed family sleep habits.
Today, I want to know more about Christian Dream Interpretation. I believe God does still speak to us in our dreams and want to know what others are saying about it. I found an especially useful website called Communion With God Ministries and a page on Dream Interpretations here. Lots of interesting info there if you care to read it. It offered verses in the Bible that say God will speak to us in dreams in both the old and new testaments. It also listed a few things you can do to help recall your dreams and that the average person who gets 8 hours of sleep a night will in fact dream for about 2 hours of it and that the last hour of our sleep is usually when we dream the most.
I have a lot of strange dreams that I often wonder about. Often I can trace back part of its reasoning for something I saw or heard during the previous day or days. For this reason I try not to watch scary or especially grotesque shows because I know it stays with me. But also, I know that the interesting and/or creative stuff stays with me too. For example, we watched the first part of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' lastnight and then this morning I dreamt that we were being forced to leave our house because someone (or something) was coming and we were fleeing in a horse and wagon.(like the people of Rohan) And yet in the dream I was making sure I brought my laptop, my camera and plenty of macaroni. Old transportation with modern technology. A strange combo of my brain I suppose.
But should I be looking for the meaning of this dream, or just assume its the product of my creative mind? Perhaps I could just interpret that if I did need to flee for some reason, it is pretty obvious as to what I find important to take with me. Laptop, camera and macaroni. :)
I also came across this site called Tehilla Ministries where the ministry is Christian dream interpretation with information on Biblical Dream Symbols, Prophecy and other info about dreams.
In fact, there are several more sites on Christian Dream interpretation that one could read about it all day. The most common theme among them all is that if we want to know if God is speaking to us in our dreams, all we have to do is ask Him. Praying about it and asking God to reveal to us the secrets of our dreams may open up the meanings for us. I don't think any dreams are meaningless but if one third of our lives is spent sleeping, I'm a little curious to know what I'm missing by not knowing a bit more about my dreams.
Have you ever wondered if God is trying to speak to you in your dreams? What are your thoughts on this? What are your thoughts on the fortune tellers & prophets of the world as we know it now? Are their 'gifts' from Satan or just a creative mind? Have you ever asked God to reveal to you the secrets of your dreams?
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Another suggestion, I found on the internet, is to use a large white cardboard instead of a sheet...but I will continue with my sheet testing a little longer.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Its Valentine's Day! The day of love! The day of sweethearts! The day of romance! Cards, flowers, chocolates and teddy bears will be flying off the shelves at elevated prices for today. Restaurants will bring out their special 'Valentine's Day' menus that are always at least 50% more than any other day of the year. Couples will be engaged today, fall in love today or be reminded of romance by their loved ones. Other couples will use this day to emphasize their already romantic relationship. And still other couples realize they don't need a special day to show their love for they show it each and every day.
I was a bit cynical on love and romance for a couple years. Divorce has a nasty way of doing that to people, as some of you may be able to relate. But something happened...love found me again. Found me when I stopped believing in it. Love had this amazing way of creeping up on me & forcing bitterness out of my heart to make room for its ever expanding ways. Simple special moments, one by one, filled my life with smiles.
And since then, I have had not only 2 very special but memorable Valentine's Days, but nearly 3 years of love-filled moments making every day special. This is our third Valentine's Day together and the morning is like any other, we drink coffee together, content in the quiet peace of being in the same room, never doubting that we are in love!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Approximately 70% of our planet is covered by water. Oceans, seas, lakes, rivers. We are called The Blue Planet of the solar system due to our abundance of water. Without it, our planet would likely be desolate and barren. Water and the need for it affects everyone on earth. In countries in Africa there is a huge shortage of clean water. Seems so helpless when so much of the earth is covered in salt water.
What would the earth be like without our oceans? Would it become a great desert, with miles and miles of sand? Would the lakes and rivers have anywhere to go? What would sustain the greeness on our planet?
I have been curiously pondering this verse in Revelation 21:1 today. When the earth is renewed after the 1000 year reign, what does it mean by "there was no more sea"? I don't understand so I thought I would dig a bit to see what theologians had to say about this. What I found mostly, was that theologians focus on the first half of the verse, interpreting what the 'new heaven and new earth' would be and many of them seem to ignore that 'no more sea' part in their interpretations
However, I did find some information, mostly taken from the site Blue Letter Bible which offers several commentaries on most verses in the Bible
Some theologians interpret this literally, as it is. The oceans will be gone so that there is more landmass to house the redeemed from all the ages and they are free to spread out over the entire earth.
Another interpretation deems the sea as a representation of "perpetual unrest" so the absence of the sea would mean the presence of peace.
Another theologian, David Guzik, says that "To the Jewish mind, the sea was a place of separation and evil... the source of the satanic beast... and the place of the dead." so perhaps he means the absence of the sea then would be the absence of evil and death.
I found an interesting interpretation on a website of commentaries called Divine Plan that said this "the sea is a symbol for the masses of people in a restless and unstable anarchistic condition, just as the land represents the social order, and as the mountains represent the kingdoms of the present time. As there is no reference to the physical earth and physical heavens being destroyed, so there is no reference to the physical sea being obliterated. The symbol signifies that under the new arrangement, under the control of the new heavens or spiritual powers, the reconstructed social order will be so satisfactory, so complete, so thorough, that there will be no more sea-class, no more restless people, no more dissatisfaction, no more anarchists; everything will be reduced to law and order; and law and order will under the new regime secure justice to every creature, obliterating the differences of wealth and power as they now exist." Interesting, no? Click here if you want to read more from this same line of interpretation.
Well, I've found interpretations for both physical absence of the sea and metaphorical for this particular verse. I'm sure there are countless more commentaries to be read as Revelation is a book that has fascinated theologians for centuries. I'm not sure which interpretation I would prefer. I love the beauty and vastness of the oceans on our planet. But I also believe God could continue to sustain our world without the enormous quantity of water. Another thought that will, for now, remain a mystery to me until that time comes to pass.
Have you got an opinion of this verse? Please share it with me!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:9-10
Of course, not everyone is meant for adventure. And not everyone longs for adventure. Or certain kinds of adventures. Though I love photos of the blue iceburgs of the Arctic Circle, penguins in Antarctica and Himilaya trekking, I don't think I'm meant for a COLD adventure. Unless I can greatly improve the circulation to my extremeties, my fingers and toes always get cold first leaving me uncomfortable, even with the proper gear. So for now, I'm convinced I should stick to warm weather adventuring.
It always brings me back to the verse, "This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great." Psalm 104:25 "Innumerable" always stands out at me, like a message that we aren't ever going to know the diversity of life under the sea. I've tried snorkelling a couple times and then I took a few scuba diving lessons in Africa. I was blown away! Swimming along underwater and being able to breathe is a fantastic experience, very surreal the first couple times. I couldn't believe the things I saw in my few short times. It was fascinating. I felt like I wasn't even on earth because I was seeing such new & amazing things. Not unseen by people before but a new discovery for me in somewhere that was formerly 'remote' to my way of thinking.
Scuba lessons in Malawi - Me on the left
I think there are still more adventures in store for my future and I wish them for you too. Discovering something 'new to you' about this planet can be an amazing experience. When I think of how God created this planet for us to discover I am reminded that there are no remote places to go that He isn't there with us. And I think it brings Him great joy to see us take pleasure in these discoveries. From the remotes of the Arctic, to the depths of our oceans, find something new that amazes you, even if its being fascinated by the leaves in your own backyards.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I love driving my car. I just love going for drives, even without a destination. It seems to be my replacement for the times I need to get out in nature to still my soul but don't have the time or place to go for a hike. Sometimes I'll crank up the stereo, sing along at the top of my lungs and sometimes I'll just drive in silence, more enthralled with the scenery around me or the thoughts in my head. I almost always can re-center myself out for a drive.
Though I love my car so much, I have a secret. I really want a truck one day! A red sporty 4x4, not too big, not too small. Nissan Frontier comes to mind. One to take me up in the mountains & backroads where my car is too delicate to go. But I am loyal to my car. Its taken me down many roads both literally & figuratively in my life. Its great to travel in, comfortable and reliable. Perfect for long road trips. I'll ward off the truck desires for a while longer in favour of my car.
Its hard not to be affected by the 'bigger & better' theme that is always bombarded in the marketing world. A bigger truck. A bigger house. A bigger boat. Bigger! Bigger! Bigger! More! More! More! I see it in my little town too. The battle of the big trucks. Competition is fierce. For such a small town, we probably see more Hummers than most of the valley. So much competition to appear important. Don't get me wrong, I think Hummers are pretty cool, but they've lost their appeal over this past year or so when I see their purposes around here. "look at me and be jealous" they seem to say. And truthfully, I've seen a few that I do feel 'jealous' of but not to the extent that I feel I need to join the competition.
Still, I take pride in my car but I think its more because I know where I've been and where I want to go. And I know my limitations. A loan for a big fancy new truck right now is out of the question and unneccessary. My car is paid off and we have other priorities. Maybe one day I'll have a little sporty red pick up but not right now. I don't need to be part of that 'bigger and better' world.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Ok, you're saying - where in the Bible does it say that? Well it SHOULD say it in MY Bible because I obviously needed to read it yesterday!
So, after work, the three of us gals decided to go out for a drink and a visit. It had been a long week and we needed to talk about it. One gal ended up working late so two of us sat & vented about all & everything work related. But because we waited for girl #3 for so long, we ordered a plate of nachos, with everything on it. Now I KNOW BETTER than to eat green peppers and I NEVER eat jalepenos but for some reason 'drinkin & talkin' seemed to dull my judgement (I only had one drinkk but managed to pick off every tiny shred of green pepper I could find in the pile to ingest) The other gal finally showed up so we continued chatting & continued picking off the plate.
2 and a half hours later, I finally went home only to change my clothes & turn around and go back to the SAME pub to meet diff friends for appies. (I hoped the change of clothes would throw off the waitresses - I'm sure they had no clue that I was JUST there) We had a few wings & I had half a drink, no longer hungry or thirsty but enjoying the company. All was well, good visit, went home & was in bed by around 10.
However, when hubby woke up the first time at 1:00 I felt soooo blah. At 3:00 I went to the couch, burping & groaning. And about 4:30 when he got up cuz he couldn't sleep anymore I went back to the bed, still groaning. Got up at 7:30 and tummy is still in knots. So, I think its safe to say that I got my reminder about not eating PEPPERS. hehehe. Now I'm enjoying a coffee and will have some mild cereal in hopes of taming things in there.
Friday, February 02, 2007
In the busyness of our every day lives, its easy to be consumed with our jobs, our families, our friends and our hobbies and forget to peacefully centre ourselves. In a world full of war, hate and turmoil, its hard to find a place of peace in our souls.
"World Peace" is that term that every body wants, the phrase every beauty queen states is her utmost goal, and something nobody really believes in.
Where is that place of tranquility, where you can step back from the world, from its horrors and terrors, from its nagging for your constant attention, and be still? It doesn't need to be a place of beauty & serenity, but it does need to be a place where you can quiet your mind.
It is said: "There is no peace,' says the Lord, 'for the wicked." Isaiah 48:22
In this world full of so much wicked, where is the hope for our peace. Our hope can only rest in God. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
My prayer for you today is that you have a place where you can be still, and allow the peace that comes from God give you rest and hope.