Sunday, December 31, 2006

How Great Thou Art

Today in church we sang one of my all time favourite hymns: How Great Thou Art. I know a lot of people like the newer songs, but I love the older hymns.
Here are the lyrics to How Great Thou Art:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

The speaker today spoke about how our resolution for the year 2007 should be to glorify God in all we do. Let’s carry that message with us in to the new year, and remember how great He really is!

I’ve way over-scheduled myself over the Christmas break, and I’ve just been running all over the place, but luckily tomorrow is completely free for me, so I’ll have to sit down and write about what I’ve been up to!
Love In Him-

*L

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The REAL meaning of Christmas

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Mine definitely was. My family arrived around 1 o'clock, and stayed until around 11 ,and I don't think the conversation stopped the entire time!
My grandmother gave me a Christmas card with this on the front:

C- Counsellor
H- Healer
R- Redeemer
I- Immanuel
S- Shepherd
T- Truth
M- Messiah
A- Almighty
S- Saviour

I'm saving the card to bookmark the Christmas story in one of my old Bibles.
I'm off to make cookies for the barn Christmas party tomorrow evening, but if I don't burn the house down (haha) and I have time later tonight, I'll write up another post.
If not- may you all remember the real reason we are celebrating this holiday!

Lots of holiday love...

In His Name-

*L

Sunday, December 24, 2006

What happened to Christmas spirit?

I’m back in Ottawa for Christmas, and it has been a crazy past two days! Christmas dinner is being held at our house this year, so my parents have been frantically preparing food and cleaning the house. My attempt to help my mom cook just ended with me being in the way, so I ended up running errands.
There’s no a speck of snow in sight, so it looks like it’s going to be a green Christmas. I heard on the news that the lack of snow is causing a decrease in the Christmas cheer people feel, and donations to charities are down. I definitely experienced that today. While running errands, at two different stores people completely cut me off in line. One woman actually cut right in front of me as I was about to put my purchases on the counter. I couldn’t believe it! Usually in Kanata we’re pretty friendly, but people would crash right in to me and not even say anything. Then, when I was in the parking lot, a man driving an SUV backed out of a spot, hit the car parked behind him and just took off! Didn’t even stop to see if the car he hit was ok, and there was a significant CRUNCH when he hit. There was a couple getting into their van close to my spot, and I overheard the wife say “can you believe that guy?” and the husband say “I know, so much for Christmas spirit”. I just couldn’t wait for all the madness to be over!
Of course, it was just as crazy at home. There wasn’t anything left for me to do, so to get out of the way I went hiking for a few hours on some trails close to my house. People were out walking their dogs and taking kids for a hike, and every single person I passed on the trail greeted me with a “Merry Christmas!”. So, maybe the Christmas spirit is still alive!

“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”.
- Luke 2: 7

~Merry Christmas~

Celebrating His birth-

*L

Friday, December 22, 2006

Two Envelopes

I love to get mail. Well, not all mail- the bills I can live without. Thursday morning when I went to check my mail, I found two envelopes. One contained a cheque from a bursary I had applied for a long time ago (sometime in the summer I think) that I had completely forgotten about. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it will definitely help replace the dent in my account from all the application expenses. I’ve been praying a lot of my finances, and the Lord answered my prayers!
The second enveloped contained my invitation the annual Christmas party that all of the “barn girls” have every year. I’ve grown up with these girls; I’ve known most of them since I was six years old. There are about twenty of us (yes, twenty!), and we all hung out at the barn as kids, and now that we’re older, most of us work there as a part time job. With university, marriage and jobs, a lot of us have left, but we all still stay in touch. We usually get together in smaller groups, because it’s so hard to always organize get-togethers when there’s so many of us. However, every Christmas for as long as I can remember, we’ve all gotten together. It’s the one time every year that we’re all at the same place at the same time (except for horse shows or sometimes on week-ends at the barn), and it’s always one of my favourite things to do at Christmas. I’m so excited; I’ve missed all those girls so much! Someone will always pull out pictures from our younger days (always good for a laugh or two!), plus there’s nothing better than being surrounded by your best friends, especially at Christmas time.

God is great!

~Merry Christmas~

In His Love;

*L

Monday, December 18, 2006

One more week!!

I can’t believe how quickly December is flying by! I was shocked (and slightly embarrassed!) when I checked my last post and realized it was almost a week ago.
My exam last Wednesday went really well. It was the exam I was the most worried about, so it was a major relief to have it done. Since I had such a long break between exams, I studied all day Thursday and Friday, and took some time off this past week-end to hang out with my friend Jaimie. We used to swim together and lived together in residence in first year, but we really haven’t hung out a lot lately.
In our first year, the big trend (and our unofficial floor theme) was to collect lists. We had all kinds of lists: “what they never told you about university”, “you know you’re a student when…”, “signs you’re Canadian”, “you know you were born in the 80’s when…” and so on. Jaimie collected them all at the end of the year, and we were going over them and choosing all the ones that applied to us. It was so funny how our lives can be made in to lists that apply to so many other people.
If someone made a list “Signs you’re a Christian”, I wonder how many I’d be able to tick off. What qualities would be on the list? If someone else were to look at the list and think of you, what qualities would they chose for you? Just something to think about in the upcoming week.

Hope everyone has finished their Christmas shopping. I haven’t, and I’m already dreading hitting the mall to finish it up. Can you believe we celebrate the birth of our Lord in one week!?!

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.
- John 14:6

~Merry Christmas~

*L

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Exam Fever

Usually the vibe at the library is very amicable, but all sense of decency goes out the window December 1, when the dreaded “Exam Fever” hits. The popular saying “all’s fair in love and war” should be altered to say “all’s fair in love, war and exams”. You snooze, you lose- the best tables, books and computers are taken at early hours that most university students haven’t been awake for since high school. Luckily for me, having my own apartment means I always have a quiet place to study during exams, so I haven’t had to endure the madness since I lived on campus in first year. Unfortunately, I needed to look up some research papers not available in the online catalogue, so I had to brave the madness this morning. Just as I nabbed the one last reference computer, some guy walked in who apparently was there for the same reason I was. Out of all the people using the reference computers, he chose me to hover behind. I can’t stand people who hover and constantly read over your shoulder- it drives me up the wall! It actually makes it harder for me to work because I keep focusing on how annoying it is someone is reading over my shoulder that I can’t focus on my work. Poor guy, his tactics were backfiring!
On the walk back home, I was still steaming over “Hovering Boy” when I realized that sometimes someone always looking over your shoulder isn’t a bad thing. God is always looking over us, keeping us safe and in His loving arms. Now THAT is something that doesn’t annoy me!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41:10

I have an exam tomorrow afternoon, so keep me in your prayers!

In His Loving Arms-

*L

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Season of Loss, A Lifetime of Forgiveness

A few weeks ago I went shopping at a second hand bookstore and came home with quite the loot. Showing an uncharacteristic restraint, I managed to ignore the stack while I was studying, but today (and by today I mean Friday, because I’m posting after midnight!) I took the afternoon off from reading textbooks and decided to read for fun. A while ago I heard about a book called “A Season of Loss, A Lifetime of Forgiveness”, and I've been wanting to read it ever since, so I was excited when I found a copy at the store. It was such a great book- it tells the story of late NHL-er Dan Snyder and how his family was able to come to terms with his death.
The book really made me think about the power of forgiveness. I think that forgiving someone for something that they’ve done is a really hard thing to do. Looking back at the bad things people have done to me, I’m not too bad with the forgiveness part, but I’m bad at the forgetting part. I can only truly “forgive and forget” with my very close friends.
There’s a comedy movie that my friends and I love to watch, and one of the main characters is a rock star who has no talent what so ever. She writes a song about forgiveness, and the main chorus line is “Forgiveness- it’s more than saying sorry”. Truly forgiving someone is more than just saying “it’s OK”. I’ll be praying that I’ll be able to show people forgiveness. It amazes me that the Lord will always forgive me. We are so lucky that the Lord forgives us, time and time again.

I just looked at the clock and I didn’t realize that it was so late, so I’m going to cut this short!


“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
- Matthew 6:14


“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”.
- Ephesians 4:32

In His Love;

*L

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Making the Time

This afternoon I was studying at the kitchen table and Jack decided he needed attention. He weaved in and out of the table legs meowing, but I just ignored him and kept working. Finally, he got sick of begging, and went for a much more obvious approach: he jumped up on the table, knocked the pen out of my hand and plunked himself down on my notes. He looked so cute and I haven’t had the time to play with him lately, so I took a break and we played with his toys for a while. That reminded me again of how easy it is to forget about the important things and how easy it is to over-schedule. Sure, playing with my cat versus studying for an exam is a no-brainer. There’s another kind of studying that I sometimes don’t make time for- my Bible. It seems that every time I start cutting down the time I spend on my devotions and readings, the Lord always manages to send a gentle reminder.
I finished studying the chapter I was on and then grabbed my Bible. Jack cuddled up with me and we made the time to study my Bible. It was such a nice break; I hardly spent any time studying my Bible yesterday, and I missed it. The day felt weird without it.
So, how do you make time for the Lord? I guess I have to thank Jack for the subtle reminder that I’ve been neglecting some things lately! Although I have a feeling the Lord might have been behind that one.
As for my presentation last Friday: it went remarkably well. My voice came back somewhat, but luckily the room was big enough that we needed to a microphone, so that helped. I usually don’t get nervous doing public speaking, but I was shaking when the person before me was talking. I just closed my eyes and prayed like crazy, and I really felt like the Lord was giving me strength as I spoke. (And I had even more luck, because I managed to escape relatively unscathed when I had to defend my research with questions from peers and the board of professors!).
I can all things through Christ who strengthens me
– Phillipians 4:13

In Him-

*L

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hard Times

A lot of things have polar opposites- there’s the obvious North and South Pole, but there’s also black and white, warm and cold, up and down, ying and yang, happy and sad. But does that mean that for every good moment there is a bad moment too? Lately I’ve been thinking about the hard things we go through in life. I’ve had really good moments in life, but also some really bad moments.
For the past few days I’ve been studying from the book of Job. Job is described as being blameless and pure, a man who fears God and shuns evil. He has to go through many trials- losing his wealth and family, painful sores. Yet he never blames God or curses Him. That made me think about how I handle bad things in my life. It’s odd that during deaths of family members, choosing a university and a program that hardly anyone supported or wanted for me, an injury that resulted in me losing my swim career and chance at a national spot and almost losing a semester of school in the process- big, life changing moments, I’ve relied on God. Even during my teen years when I tried to walk away from God, I still knew in my heart He would sustain me and watch over me. But last week my faith was weakened over something much smaller. I guess “the rest of my life” isn’t small, but what I saw as a bad thing was really a blessing. I’m finishing a degree, and I have so many options and exciting things ahead of me. When I should have seen that the Lord has provided me with many paths to take, I chose to see and focus on the negative. So, it is my prayer lately that I keep the same faith that Job had.
Following the theme of opposites, I have good news and bad news. The good (no, fantastic!!) news is that….my applications are done!! Done, done, done, in the mail, done!! I mailed them yesterday, and I felt like I just floated out of the post office! It was such a relief to have them all done and not have to worry about finishing them anymore. Now I just have to worry about the results-haha!
This week has definitely been the busiest of the year. Due to the fact that we all overload on our courses, the exams for my program are scheduled a week early, giving us time to properly study for our elective exams. So, this week I’ve written three exams in four days, with my last one this afternoon. Then, tomorrow morning I have my thesis presentation. Three and half years of work is culminating in one presentation tomorrow, and I am SO nervous! So, here’s the bad news: I woke up yesterday with an awful cold, and I’ve completely lost my voice. In about fourteen hours I have to stand in front of all my classmates, the head of my program and a panel of professors to discuss the implementation of mandatory physical education in schools, and I can’t talk!! I’ve been drinking tea and honey like crazy and doing every trick I can think of, so hopefully I’ll wake up in the morning with my voice back, loud and clear.

Job’s friend Eliphaz talks in Chapter 5 about the faithfulness of God. He says:

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; He sends water upon the countryside. The lowly He sets on high, those who mourn are lifted to safety”.
- Job 5:8-11

Trusting in the Lord’s faithfulness-

*L

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Waiting patiently can be so hard!

Doesn’t it just make it worse when everyone around you is having fantastic luck when nothing right is happening for you? That’s been my past week.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but lately I’ve had the attitude of “who cares?”. I’m being honest on this blog, even if it paints me in a bad light. I’m usually a very organized, responsible person- the kind that gets their homework done and finishes assignments days in advance. Definitely Type A, and a textbook-definition eldest child. Lately…not so much. Last Friday I found myself sitting in class, staring out the window half the time and the other half of the time I sat their thinking “who cares?? I mean really- in the grand scheme of things, it is crucial that I learn about long term athlete development?”. For the first time in my life, I actually don’t care, and to be honest, it scares me. This is new, unfamiliar territory for me.
I’m also panicking over my future. My typical Type A self used to have it all planned out. I knew exactly what I wanted, and had my entire life plan mapped out. Now, it’s just a bunch of murkiness. I have about the next 24 hours planned, and that’s it. Teacher’s college applications are so stressful I think they’ve taken about ten years off my life. Plus, after paying for them I have officially emptied out every last penny in my savings. Then, I found out yesterday that the number of applicants admitted has dropped. One school dropped their admittance from 800 to 150. So, not only am I completely broke, but my chances of getting in have been slashed dramatically.
I’m really starting to wonder if my whole degree is worth it. This summer at the youth centre, I organized a basketball league. I’m a terrible basketball player, but I would always warm up with the kids and shoot baskets with them. The janitor at the centre one day was helping me with my free throws, and he made a comment about how women needed men to teach them about sports, to which I replied “you do realize you’re talking to a female human kinetics student”, to which he replied “yea, but no one will hire you, because you’re a female in a male business”. I thought he was just being a jerk, so I ignored him. Later that summer, I organized a mini-NHL tournament, and the kids picked their favourite teams, and the programmers at the centre were the general managers of the teams. One of the girls at the centre one day told me “hey Lauren, you’re the first female NHL GM!”. I was telling this story to two male friends the other day, and they told me that that would never happen in real life because a female would never be hired by a pro-sports team. We got in to this major debate over this, and I think I came out on the losing end of that argument. My dream job, my reason for picking my degree in the first place, was to work for a pro-sports team. This just made me feel more frustrated and confused.
For some odd reason, I’m one of the only ones in my group of friends to go to university. Some went to college, others didn’t pursue post-secondary education. Most of them are married or engaged, they all have real full-time jobs and are so much farther ahead in their lives. My friend Erin is getting married this summer, has an amazing job with an amazing salary, and just bought a house. A HOUSE!! I don’t even have enough money to make rent to the end of the year. I just feel as though the past four years aren’t really doing anything for me.
Right about now I just want to scream to God, “alright, I know you have a plan for me, but I’m sick of waiting! Just show me the way. Make it clear, let me know it’s all going to work out!”. I sound like such a spoiled brat, complaining over stupid things, most of them trivial in the grand scheme of things. But, this is where I’m at right now, and I’m going to be honest, even if it’s ugly. Besides, it makes me feel better to type it all out.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him”
- Psalms 37:7

Waiting patiently for my Lord-

*L

Thursday, November 16, 2006

E.E. Cummings has it right!

I'm taking a class called "Gerontology and Exercise", and today's lab portion was done in the pool. We'd just finished a project about class and exercise planning, so we were putting our skills to use by trying out our aquatic program. The class is mostly comprised of girls, and every single girl, except for two, showed up in (I kid you not) scimpy bikinis. The only to who didn't ? Mal and I; the two Christian girls in the group. It was like a game of "spot the Christian". It was an exercise class!!! What were they thinking?!?!
Sorry if this sounds whiny, but lately I've been really frustrated. I've actually been taking a lot of criticism this week about taking a stand, or being a "good girl", and it's just starting to wear on me.
I've got a stack of reading to get to, so I've unfortunately got to cut this short. PRAY for me, because this has been a trying week!

"To be nobody but yourself- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting".
- E.E. Cummings

We are so lucky to have to Lord on our side in this fight!

Love In Christ;

*L

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Confessions

I have a confession to make- I have an addiction to Post-It notes. I can’t get through a day without using them. I use them to write little reminders to myself, post favourite quotes on my mirror, write questions on my class notes so I won’t forget them, leave people notes, bookmark pages, leave reminders on my calendar and day planner…they’re everywhere! I have a collection of Post-It notes: big ones, medium sized ones, little ones, standard yellow, neon, pastel coloured, flower shaped, heart shaped, standard square shaped. It’s definitely becoming an addiction. I even get a little giddy when I see a new design or colour in the store.
Sadly, I spread the addiction, and my friend Ellen fell prey. When we used to go to the same church we would leave each other Post-It notes in our devotion notes and Bibles. Sometimes we would find them right away, sometimes we wouldn’t find the notes for weeks or months. They were always fun to read, and I think I’ve kept every one Ellen left for me. Ellen and I haven’t seen each other in years, but every once in a while I’ll stumble across an old Post-It. The other day I was flipping through the Bible I used when I was younger, and I found one of those notes. It was a simple note that Ellen had left- in the middle of the Post-It were the words: “Put God in the centre, and everything will come together”.
Here’s my second confession of the night: life for me has been pretty crazy lately, so I’m guilty of not putting God “in the centre” as much as I should. I’ve let my deadlines, applications and studying overtake my life. The newspaper, my future after graduation and my school work are all very important. They deserve my time, effort and dedication. But so does my Heavenly Saviour!! I have to admit, I felt more than a little guilty after reading Ellen’s note. That made me think more about how easy it is to slide God down our priority list.
The first draft of my teacher’s college applications are done (finally!), my reference letters have all been sent out, most of my articles are done for the paper, and I spent the whole day making study notes. Why is it so easy for me to get all of those things done, but my Bible sits unopened and my devotion book has no entry for today in it?
Guess where I’m headed now? I’m spending the rest of the night with the best textbook of all- the textbook for life that the Lord has given us!

“He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken”.
- Psalms 62:8

Love In Christ-

*L

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Application anxiety

So, it's official: if I ever hear the word "application"again, I'm going to be sick! Journalism applications, teacher's college applications, internship applications...and when it couldn't get any worse, I had a meeting with my academic advisor yesterday, and guess what she gave me? My application to graduate! AH!!
I guess when it rains, it pours, because this week is insane. Essays due, applications times a million (a hyperbole here and there never hurt anyone!), labs due, a looming deadline at the paper, and one of my friends is going through a really rough time right now, so I'm trying to make time for her too.
So...please pray for me!! I'll pull myself away from applications in a day or two to actually write a better entry! I have to say one thing- I don't know what I'd do without the power of prayer, because I've been praying like crazy lately!

Love In Christ-

*L

Friday, November 03, 2006

Marvelling at God's creation

I snapped these pictures last fall on my way to class. My apartment is really close to campus, and I walk along a path everyday and this is the view I get to see:


Every day that I walk the path I always think about how amazing God's creation is!
Now that winter is closer and closer, and it's getting colder, I thought it would be neat to share some pictures of nicer weather!

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
- Psalms 139:9-10

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Seventeen

When I was growing up, one of my favourite songs was about a girl who was seventeen and thought she had her life planned out. The song focused on how na├»ve the girl was, and how when she would grow up she would realize how silly she was when she was seventeen. When I was in my teens I never realized how true the song was. When I was seventeen I definitely thought I had everything figured out- I wanted to work for a sports team or be a writer. Because of my late birthday I was seventeen when I started university, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do after my four years were up. Well, I’m in my fourth year and in my twenties, so even though logic would predict that I should have “it all planned out”, I’m just starting to realize that I really, really don’t.
This afternoon I sat down with all my applications for all my options after this year is over, and it suddenly hit me that I have absolutely no clue which option I want the most. I’ve always been incredibly organized and had everything planned and mapped out, and now I don’t.
I knew from the time I was little I wanted to be one thing- a vet. As much as I love cats and dogs, I wanted to do large animals, and eventually open my own farm and practice. That fell through (which is a long story, which I’ll save for another day). When I was fourteen I started to help coaching the younger kids on my swim team, and when I was sixteen I got promoted and got my own group, then when I came to university I got hired to coach here for the city team. I completely fell in love with coaching and teaching, and most of my jobs have involved one of the two. I’ve worked my way up through the ranks and I’ve been working on my national coaching levels, and I really love it. I’m not coaching this year, and it’s incredible how much I miss it.
Now, switch over to my other career option- journalism. Ever since I was little I’ve loved reading, and that led to a love of writing. I’ve written my whole life, and was the editor of my high school newspaper. After a lot of hard work, I got the job this year of sports editor for my campus paper. Even though I’ve done a lot of writing in the past, this is the first time I’ve been paid to do it. The job’s been challenging, but in a good way, and with every article I get more and more comfortable with the job. Earlier this week I received an e-mail asking if I would interested in covering a story about a presentation the GM of the Peterborough Petes is making on campus later this week, and I jumped at the opportunity. This will be my biggest story yet, so I’m excited! I can definitely see myself doing this for the rest of my life.
Sitting beside the two big piles of applications to teachers college and journalism school is a mish-mash of applications for other random programs. I decided to get my degree in Human Kinetics so I could eventually work as a physical trainer for a pro sports team, and even though I somewhat changed my mind, I’m still applying just to see what happens. So, right now I have no clue which path I want to take. Now more than ever I’m so happy that one day I stumbled across Jeremiah 29:11. Even though I, for the first time in my life, have no idea what’s happening next, I know the Lord has everything all planned out. All I need to do is pray and trust.
I know I’ve been rambling, but I just had to write this all out, in the hopes it would help clear things up! I just re-read what I wrote, and I actually do have my life together, but I just think today was one of those overwhelming days. Oh, to be seventeen again!

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you hope and a future”.
- Jeremiah 29:11


Trusting in Him-

*L

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A constant friend

Even though I'm posting after midnight, I'll admit to procrastinating tonight, and I'll consider this Friday's post!

I was flipping through channels (all three that I get!) today when I came across an interview with Mary J. Blige. I've heard her music a lot, but I never really knew a lot about her, so I listened to the show. She was talking about how she overcame addiction and found the Lord. The most interesting part was when she talked about how none of her friends understood her faith, and a lot of them mocked her, and for a while she was without any friends at all until she was able to find fellowship with other Christians. When the interviewer asked her if this was hard, she quoted Job 33:4: "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life". Hearing her speak so candidly about how hard it was to go from non-believer to believer was really neat to listen to.
I thought more about how so many friends don't understand our beliefs, and so I did some research in the Bible and found:
"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother".
- Proverbs 18:24

How lucky we are that in good times and in bad, the Lord is always at our side.

It's getting late so I'm headed off to bed, but since I'm incredibly far behind in my blog readings, I'll do that tomorrow!

Love In Christ-

*L

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm still alive!

Well, I've crawled out from the woodwork and am ready to post again! Apparently my sister has declared a monopoly on the one and only computer that we have at home. (I guess that's what happens when you leave home!). I've only had time to do a quick check on my e-mails, but my sister just left to go babysitting, so I've seized my moment of opportunity.
Today is my last day of real "vacation". I've got interviews booked solid tomorrow, and a deadline for the paper on Friday, so it's back to work for me tomorrow. Apart from getting together with some friends on Saturday night for the hockey game, I've been anti-social for the past few days. I've spent my time lounging around and reading (not a textbook, which is a welcome change!). Oh well, I suppose everyone deserves a break here and there!
Sunday I went to my church here at home, and it was nice to be back. A local missionary spoke, and it reminded me of how important it is for us to pray for all the missionaries and the work they're doing. For about a year now my grandmother has been sick, but up until then we used to have a family tradition where she would make a big lunch after church and we would spend the afternoon talking and discussing any new events in our lives. This past Sunday was the first time we've had a chance to do that in a year. I was so thankful that she was feeling well enough, because that was the only Sunday I'm going to be home until Christmas.

I'm taking the midnight bus back to school tonight, so I've got to run and pack up (it just feels like I was packing to come home- time goes by too quickly!).

Love In Christ;

*L

Picture from the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!

This is a picture of myself with Diane, one of the girls I worked with this summer. I completely forgot I had this picture until I cleaned out my inbox today and found it from the summer. This was the day I took her to get her face painted, and she picked a butterfly. It was a really hot day (this was back in July), so after a full day of running around and playing on the play structures, her beautiful butterfly had melted into a red glob!
Funny story...when it was Diane's turn to have her face done, the woman working the booth asked me "so, what would your daughter like to have done?". I don't think I look old enough to have a daughter, especially a ten year old!

Friday, October 20, 2006

You can take the girl out of the barn...



One of my barn friends sent me this picture today. My friend Natalie got married last summer, and all of the "barn girls" went (we've all been friends since we were six). After the ceremony there was an hour and a half for cocktails. Instead of cocktails, the barn girls all headed into the barn (Natalie got married on the grounds of a farm, which may sound odd but was actually beautiful). There are all these hilarious pictures of us in a barn in our dressy clothes. I had to laugh at this one of me because it's so typical! The goat was adorable. Since we're all riders we spent the most time with the horses, but I came back to this little guy a couple of times. (You can take the girl out of the barn, but you can't take the barn out of the girl!).

Well, there's one of the few pictures of me that I like. I'll try to find others (as requested!!).

*L

It's finally Friday!!

What a crazy week! Of course, during Midterm week, the girl across the hall decided to download movies and videos, and since we share an Internet connection, everything was slowed down. I was trying to get to my notes (a lot of my courses have a lot of material online), but it was almost impossible with the slow connection. I tried to post on Blogger Wednesday night, but after twenty minutes the page was still loading, so I just waved the white flag and gave up! After spending way too much time in the computer lab at school, I'm glad to finally be back on my trusty laptop.
I've still got a lot to do before heading home for the week-end so I have to cut this short, but I just thought I'd post something small because I haven't been on here in a while. I should be able to get an Internet connection at home, so I'll try to post something better later.

Love In Christ;

*L

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Closed-loop vs. Open-loop

As a Human Kinetics major, I’ve spent the past four years studying the human body. As a senior, my courses this year deal with very specific topics of the body and motion. I’m taking one course called “Motor Learning and Control”, and it’s all about how we learn and how muscle systems adapt to learning. Next week is the unofficial midterm week, so I spent the week-end studying. Today I was reading over my text, and I focused on the chapter about control patterns. In class we briefly discussed open- and closed-control loops, but the text went in to the much greater detail. To give a brief definition, an open-control loop is a thought pattern where your body doesn’t have to think about what it’s doing, and your brain doesn’t receive any feedback; a closed-control loop occurs when you actively have to think about every motion, and you consciously receive feedback. That really made me think, not only about the midterm, but about how there are “open-control loop Christians” and “closed-control loop Christians”. I know some people who are “open-control loop Christians”; they just sort of go through the motions, not really thinking about their walk with the Lord. In fact, I was even one for a while (anyone who’s read my testimony will know that!). Thankfully, I found my way back and I’m now very much a “closed-loop control Christian!”.
It really amazes me how the Lord works. I’ve been looking in to taking a course on the book of Mark, so today for my devotions I read through some passages from Mark to prepare me for the course if I end up taking it. I found this passage: “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (Mark 7:6-7). That’s exactly what I was thinking about earlier today!

Philippians 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”.

Have a safe week, and remember to rejoice in the Lord!

Rejoicing in Him-

*L

Friday, October 13, 2006

Jack's kitten pictures

He slept so much when he was a baby!Here you can see his runny nose and watery eyes...
He's starting to look like a normal kitten, but still really tiny!


Isn't he just the cutest thing?? I feel like a proud Mom!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Love thy neighbour"...easier said than done

Last night I was looking forward to going to bed early, drinking a relaxing tea and reading a book- the perfect way to wind down after a long week-end. Sadly, my perfect evening came to an end when I was brushing my teeth.
Remember my problems with the girl across the hall? One of the things that drives me nuts is that she'll go away for days at a time and leave food out. I've always been paranoid that she'll attract rats or something and that they will find their way over to my place. We each have our separate apartments, but both of our back doors connects to a small landing that connects to the bathroom we share. I was standing in the bathroom with the door open brushing my teeth and minding my own business, when all of a sudden I see a mouse slide out from under the door leading to her apartment, scurry across the landing, and shimmy its way under my door. Every front door in the building is like any regular front door, but the connecting back doors are like a bedroom door- slightly off the ground. The mouse had more than enough room to easily slide under the door. It took me a few seconds to actually comprehend what had happened! Then I had a sinking feeling in my stomach- my two cats were in the apartment.
I have my own cat back at my parent's house, but here at school my landlord takes in the cats that no one else wants from the Humane Society, and during the school year I take care of two of them. One of them is developmentally delayed, so I wasn't worried about him catching the mouse. The other one is a hunter. I really didn't feel like dealing with a mouse corpse, or worse yet a half-dead mouse, so I ran in to my room to save the mouse. The mouse was hiding underneath my dresser and Gigi (one of the cats) had her paw as far in as it could go. The mouse ended up being chased back into the other apartment. Today I made a trip to Canadian Tire and bought a mouse trap (the humane ones, of course) in case he decides to come back. I also had another chat about leaving food out with the girl across the hall, but once again that conversation didn't go well.
It wasn't the mouse that made it an unpleasant event. I love mice and everything in the mouse family- I rescued two hamsters two years ago when their owner was going to flush them down the toilet (which makes me angry every time I think about it). I horseback ride, and worked at the barn for years(I still cover the occasional shift when I can), so mice are a fact of life for me! Mice belong in barns; with all the hay, horse food and country living, it's like a mouse haven. My building should NOT be a mouse haven. It annoyed me to no end that I've been saying all year that leaving food out would attract mice, and it did! I'm a clean person, so I don't want to deal with this when it's not because of me.
There, it felt so much better to vent and get that off my chest!
Leviticus 19:17-18 says :
"Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbour frankly so you will not share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself".
Well, let's just say that's easier said than done! I guess that will have to be my mission for the week. Keep praying for me as I try to love the girl across the hall!

Off to check on my mouse traps...

Love In Christ;

*L

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Hopefully everyone is enjoying their turkey dinners. I ended up not going home for Thanksgiving this year, but staying at school to work on my studies and the newspaper. This is the first holiday ever that I’ve spent away from my family, so it was a little sad. I called home tonight and talked with everyone, so it made it a little easier.
I’ve had these two poems since I was in high school, and I read them every Thanksgiving. It really makes me appreciate what I have. I don’t know who wrote them, so if anyone knows, let me know! Enjoy:

I Am Thankful For…
…the mess to clean up after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
…the taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed.
…the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
…my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.
…the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
…all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.
...that lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.
…the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
…the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
…my huge heating bill because it means that I am warm.
…weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means that I have been productive.
…the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.



Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.If you did, what would there be to look forward to?Be thankful when you don't know something,for it gives you the opportunity to learn.Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.Be thankful for your limitations,because they give you opportunities for improvement.Be thankful for each new challenge,because it will build your strength and character.Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.Be thankful when you're tired and weary,because it means you've made a difference.It's easy to be thankful for the good things.A life of rich fulfillment comes to those whoare also thankful for the setbacks.Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,and they can become your blessings.
-Author unknown.


It’s a tradition at my house that every Thanksgiving we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. Last year I said “I’m thankful for my family, good food and good company”. This year I think I’d say the same thing, but adding on “and I’m thankful for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for everyone who supports me in my walk with Him”. May you all have a great Thanksgiving, and eat some extra turkey for me!

Thankful to be in His loving arms-
*L

P.S. In the spirit of my week-end, if I were to add anything to the first poem, it would be “ I’m thankful for homework, because it means I am getting an education”. I’ll have to keep that in mind as I go back to tackling the books!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Front page!

I'm sitting here in the computer lab on campus writing this. My poor little laptop has died again, and has been sleeping over in the tech room for the past two days (which is why I once again haven't been posting). Fingers crossed it gets fixed by tomorrow so I'll have it for the Thanksgiving week-end.
Today definitely had it's ups and downs. I'm one of those people that hates to fight with other people and I usually put up with a lot- it takes a lot to make me lose it. The girl that lives across the hall from me has been making my life difficult for the past year, and today she just took things way too far and I lost it. I really hate stupid people! So, now I have that situation to deal with.
I feel awful about venting about my across-the-hall issue, because it seems like lately everyone has been having a hard time. The other night I stayed up really late talking to a friend from back home about some issues she's going through, and then another one of my friends up here has been going through some things to. She actually is a "Sunday Christian", so our conversations have touched on religion. I'm praying that the Lord will help me say the right things. Please pray for Nat and Elaine.
On the good news side: the campus newspaper came out today and the feature story on the men's soccer team I was working on made...front page, above the fold!!!! I had no idea that was going to happen until I got to the office this morning, and it was definitely a welcome surprise!
Well, it's getting late and the game is over, which means it's time for me to head home. Hopefully tomorrow will bring more of the good news and less of the bad news (and hopefully I'll be typing this on my own laptop!).

The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
- Psalms 145:14

Love In Christ;
*L

Monday, October 02, 2006

Jars of Clay

Today, after classes and newspaper work, I decided to tackle some housecleaning. Floors, bathroom, mirrors- all have suffered lately due to my hectic life. (I'm proud to say that right now they sparkle!). I'm definitely a person that has to listen to music while they're doing something (expect reading- I need complete silence for that). Nothing good was on the radio and my regular CD collection has been getting boring, so I decided to rummage around in my older CD's to find something. I ended up putting on an old "Jars of Clay" album that I bought when I around twelve. Billy Graham came to Ottawa and I went with my friend Melanie. Michael W. Smith and Jars of Clay performed and we ended up buying both CD's.
I did my daily readings after cleaning, and I decided to look up the verse that Jars Of Clay got their name from:

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us".
- 2 Corinthians 4:7

That made me think of another verse concerning clay:

"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand".
- Isaiah 64:8

For something as simply and mundane as clay, it certainly creates some interesting analogies!

In His Love-

*L

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bad news and good luck!

I think I can officially be crowned the Queen of Bad Luck. Right after my vow of getting back to posting on a regular basis, I decided to sit down and do some more work. I clicked on an icon and...nothing. I clicked on the icon again...once again, nothing. Forty eight hours later, after frantically hunting down someone who knew what they were doing, my precious laptop has been saved. Something to do with refragging and reformatting; it was over my head!
Now for the good, or should I say AMAZING, news...I have a job!! Not just any job either- a newspaper job!!!! I am the new Sports Editor for the campus newspaper. My name in print- a dream come true! How great the Lord is! I'll fill in all the details tomorrow; right now I've got to run and start writing up articles before I forget details. I'm on a deadline! That sounds so great to say :)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- Phillipians 4:13

May the Lord keep you safe this week-end-

*L

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"booklet Bible" vs. the real Bible

Well, if I was computer-savy enough to know how, I'd be putting a very long row of sheepish/embarrassed smiley faces for not posting in ages. Friday I was determined to get all my work done so I could relax all week-end, which is why I didn't end up posting. Then I spent the whole week-end doing absolutely nothing. I watched TV, went for a walk, read my Bible...and didn't crack open a textbook once! I don't know what came over me; I just had two incredibly lazy days. My brain really wasn't working too well, so each time I tried to write something to post, everything that I wrote sounded awful. But I'm back, so I'll try to get back to posting on a more consistent basis.

Monday morning I joined my classmates in a flurry of typing and printing as the official teacher's college application package was released. 39 pages- my poor printer had to take a break halfway through printing it! Of course it's all written in tiny print, so reading it is taking hours. It's so frustrating to read because every little detail is crucial. We've all been wandering around with the booklet in our hands, reading frantically every chance we get. One of my classmates remarked today that the booklet will be her Bible for the next two months. Even though we all laughed and agreed, I couldn't help but think in my head that I don't want my booklet to be my Bible. Sure, it's important to me and I know I'll be spending hours flipping through it in the coming months, but what I want my life to depend on is the Lord and his Word. That's the book I want to make sure to read everyday, and that's the book I want to base my life on. Plus, I'm lucky that it's a much more interesting read than paragraphs and paragraphs about admission averages, profiles and deadlines. The real Bible speaks of only one admission requirement: asking the Lord into our hearts. As I stress over my teacher's college deadlines, I can reassure myself by thinking that I've already met the most important requirement!

I've already used this verse before, but I think it applies to today too:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
- Psalms 119:105

Love In Christ;
*L

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Letters and guidance

Today I came home from a long day of classes to a very sweet surprise! My birthday card from my grandmother was sitting outside my door. I love getting mail (but not bills!). So much of my communication is done in e-mail now, so getting a letter in the mail is always such a great surprise. Even better was the surprise inside (a cheque way over my usual birthday amount) enough to cover a month’s rent! It may not seem like a huge amount, but for a student it’s an enormous relief. Remember all my job and money worries? This goes a long way in helping! Thank you Nanny and thank you Lord for providing.
Even better though was the letter that my grandmother had enclosed. We’ve always been close, and she’s been a significant influence on my life and my walk with the Lord. I’ve told her all about the problems I’ve been having lately. Here’s a section from the letter:

“…by the time you receive my letter these problems may be straightened out; I hope so! Never mind, I am a strong believer that God allows these disappointments for our good. Think of Joseph who was sold to the Midianete traders and who afterwards could say to his brother ‘You meant it for evil but God meant it for good’. Not only that occasion, but later Joseph was innocently accused of wrongdoing and thrown in jail, however this too worked for his good. So don’t be downhearted or discouraged, things will eventually turn out for the best”.

I really realize how blessed I am to have someone like my grandmother here to guide me. I’m lucky too that the Lord is always here to guide me. The Bible says in the first part of Isaiah 58:11 that “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame”.

Love In Christ;

*L

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My two birthdays

When I was younger I used to get so excited for my birthday. I'd have a countdown which started a month beforehand and the night before I'd never be able to sleep. My past few birthdays have been met with a grudging acceptance- I'm getting older. Each year brings more and more responsibilities and expectations. When you turn five or six, the only expectation of you is that you have proper manners and are well-behaved. By fifteen or sixteen, you're expected to be mature enough to drive a car, have your future more or less mapped out (those university application deadlines are looming!), and at eighteen you're officially considered an adult. Saturday was my 21rst birthday, and of course with it came even more changes and responsibilities- 21 is the cut-off age for me to be on my parents' health insurance and now my car insurance changes too. Gone are the carefree days of wearing a party hat and eating cupcakes every September 16th!
I realize how very blessed I am because I'm lucky my birthday is cause for another celebration- the fact that every year my birthday is not just a marker of another year, but also cause for celebration that I actually have 2 birthdays. In church whenever some has a birthday we also sing about how "born again means salvation; how many have you?" in reference to how the day you accepted the Lord in to your heart is also a "birthday". This birthday I can honestly say that when my friends toasted me at dinner, I not only toasted to my 21rst birthday but also to the fact that I have a second birthday, one that guarantees me everlasting and eternal life!

Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade- kept in heaven for you.
- 1 Peter 1:3-4

Have a great week!

*L

Thursday, September 14, 2006

You'll be strong because He walks with you

Ever had one of those conversations that leave you shaking your head and wondering what just happened? I had one of those yesterday with my former boss from the club. I was leaving my lab class yesterday with my friend Jaimie and realized my boss was walking about 30 feet in front of us. I really wasn't in the mood to deal with the whole situation of me not coaching anymore, so I told Jaimie I was going to walk around the back of the building and meet her at the front. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but it was at the end of a long day and I just wanted to go home, not deal with the coaching .... fiasco, for lack of a better word! The plan totally backfired though, because when I went to meet Jaimie at the front, my boss was standing there talking to her! Long story short, he asked me to come back as a supply coach, and of course I said yes because I loved that job. Then, he started to talk about how my assistant from last year (who has replaced me this year) might not be doing a good job and how he plans on being stricter this year, and the new coach might not last the year so I should be prepared to possibly come back. So of course, my immediate reaction is to think "well, if you think you're going to demote him, why not just hire me back now?". It was such a random, confusing conversation!

Last night I continued to pray about everything and I started to think about how no matter how many confusing, frustrating and random conversations we can have during the day, there's always a perfect conversation with our Lord, ready for us at anytime. It reminds me of a song I used to sing in Sunday School:

Have you talked to God above
Told Him that you need a friend to love
Pray in Jesus name believing
That God answers prayer
Have you told Him of your cares and woes
Every tiny little fear He knows
You can know He'll always hear and
He can know your thoughts
On a lofty mountain peak, He's there
In a shadow by the stream, He's there
Anywhere on earth you go
He's been there from the start
Find the answer in His word, it's true
You'll be strong because He walks with you
By His faithfulness He'll change you too
God answers prayer

I haven't sung that in ages; I can't believe I still know the words!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- Philippians 4:6

Love In Christ;

*L

Monday, September 11, 2006

Praying and paddling

I'm back from my camping trip! It was...interesting, to say the least! We left Friday morning and just as we got in the water these dark (almost black) clouds appeared in the horizon. About an hour later we were caught in the worst storm I've ever seen. It was raining so hard we couldn't even see ahead of us and had to paddle with our heads down. Since we're up in Northern Ontario, the shore was all rock cliffs and there was nowhere for us to pull the canoes off the water. Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, it started to hail and lighting came crashing down. We were stuck on the water for about ten more minutes until we could find a spot to pull up. Obviously everyone was really scared and I just paddled and prayed the whole time. It was just as we were getting out of our boats that I noticed another girl in the group (a friend of a friend who was invited to come along) was praying out loud. While we were waiting out the storm I had a nice long talk with her and I'm happy to say I've made a new Christian friend! We found out we actually have a class together this semester, so were going to work on projects together. The rest of the trip wasn't too bad; freezing cold, but nothing that a fire and a few marshmallows couldn't cure!
When I got back from the trip I found out for sure that I'm not coaching this year, so the job hunt continues. I've been praying like mad for something, however it's so great to know the Lord already has my future plans all mapped out!
After four days of canoeing and portaging, I'm exhausted, so it's bed time for Lauren! In closing, the one thing that I stuck out to me over the trip was just how majestic the scenery was. Mallory (the girl I met on the trip) reminded me of this verse:

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, and your right hand will hold me fast.
- Psalms 139:9-10

God bless-

*L

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Answered prayers and camping!

What an interesting day! God really does answer prayer. I went out for dinner last night with some friends and noticed that the restaurant (which is only a 10 minute walk from my house) is hiring. Then, when I went to buy a paper today, I noticed that the convenience store (on the same street I live on!) is hiring as well. Then, after class today, I picked up the student newspaper and noticed that they are hiring too! Three jobs, two within walking distance and one on campus! On Monday I'm going to sit down and apply for all three, so until then I'll be praying like crazy. I'm the most excited about the newspaper one because I'm thinking of going into journalism, so not only would it be a source of income, but an amazing experience as well!
The reason I'm waiting until Monday is because this week-end I'm going camping! It's was a last minute idea by one of my friends, and it should be fun, weather-permitting (it's supposed to rain!). I'm looking forward to camping because it hopefully will be a nice mini-vacation before school gets really busy.

In the past few days I have really seen God at work in my life, answering my prayers, so I have chosen this verse as the verse of the day:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
-Matthew 7:7-8

In His Love;

*L

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Christians and Pumpkins

I got an e-mail forward today that I'd like to share with everyone!

A woman was asked by a co-worker, "what is it like to be a Christian?". The woman replied, "It is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, anger, harshness, greed, intolerance, impatience, selfishness, fear, pain, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see and rejoice. A light containing the Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. (Galatians 5:22).

God bless;

*L

Monday, September 04, 2006

Jobs and Jeremiah 29:11

I've alternated between praying and repeating Jeremiah 29:11 to myself all day. After a busy morning of organizing my apartment, I chatted to some people from the club I coached for last year. Apparently lower enrolment has made them considering downsizing, which leaves me with no job. Needless to say, this has been worrying me ever since I found out. I loved my coaching job, so I would be devastated if I didn't have it anymore. Plus, as a student...the income is much needed. I've been praying and praying and trusting in the Lord that this will work out. I know the Lord will watch over me and provide, but I know I'm going to worry until I find out the final decision.
That bad news totally overshadowed the rest of the fun I've been having. It's been really great to see everyone at school again. One more day until school though! My plans for my last day of freedom include...cleaning the bathroom, last minute changes to my class schedule, desperately trying to get ahold of my boss to see if I still have a boss, and (hopefully not) looking for a new job. Exciting day! I'm meeting my friend Val for coffee, so I have that to look forward to!
Sigh- just when I thought I had it all under control, I realize I'm nowhere near organized. "For I know the plans I have for you...."; what a reassurance!!

After lunch today I took some time out of my day to continue my readings, and I found one of my old favourites:

With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
- Matthew 19:26

Love In Christ-

*L

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lost, but now am found

I'm back at school now! I've spent the past few days packing and moving back, so with a computer all packed up and no Internet access, I had no way of posting! I actually really missed it.
Friday was my designated "errand day". Between a trip to Tim Hortons, a haircut, seeing some friends, buying last minute things and having a big dinner with my family, I realized that at some point I'd lost one of my earrings. It wasn't a very valuable one, but I'd had the pair for so long that they had some sentimental value. I'm assuming I lost it when I was getting my hair cut, but so far nothing has turned up. I was sad about losing my earring, but I couldn't help but think of the song Amazing Grace. More specifically, " Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,That saved a wretch like me....I once was lost but now am found,Was blind, but now, I see". Instead of focusing on a lost earring, I should have been focusing and remembering that our Lord will always find us, no matter how lost we are! (I still hope the earring shows up though!).
I usually make "new school year" resolutions, as opposed to New Year's resolutions, and so today when I unpacked my Bible I went through to find some verses to help me out throughout the year and this year's resolutions, and I found this one:

The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness.
- 1 Samuel 26:33

It's been a hectic last few days, so I'm going to get to bed early and rest up for a big day of unpacking and organizing.
It's so reassuring to know that the Lord will always be there, and He will reward our faithfulness!

God bless;

*L

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Testimony- Part Two

I left home to go to university. I graduated from grade twelve the year Ontario dropped grade thirteen, and since I have a fall birthday, I left home at the age of seventeen. This is so young to be all alone in a brand new city! My aunt knew an elder of a church in my new city, so she got in contact with him and he and his family would give me rides to church. Now, I need to backtrack a bit to link the two ideas. I’ve loved swimming since I was six years old and always found success in it. I moved through the ranks quickly, and by my last year of high school was good enough to be considered for varsity teams. I found a university that had the program I wanted, and a nationally-recognized varsity team. I was so thrilled that I could swim the practices and even beat out a few of the team vets. The day of my first practice I could hardly eat or focus on my classes because I was so nervous and excited. It may look good to be on a team who has a history of producing Olympic swimmers, but the view behind the scenes was interesting. The pressure of having to perform all week in practice and then drag your tired body through week-ends and week-ends of meets is exhausting, and people do crazy things to win. Our team initiation was brutal, and it got worse from there. I had never seen anything like this before- drug use, casual sex, gossiping, rumor-spreading, the list goes on. Somehow, this didn’t scare me away from the team, and I stuck with it and worked hard, and ended up really improving. On that team, the faster you got, the more you were hated, and the slower you got, the more people liked you. I found myself alienated very quickly, and by the end of the season I had only two friends, who both swam different events than me, so we had no real reason to view each other as the enemy. The pressure to win apparently got to some people, because there was definite use of illegal drugs, and abuse of legal ones. If an athlete tests positive for drugs, the entire team loses their accomplishments for the year, so it was a risky gamble for everyone involved.
Ok, here’s the link to my two points. Being on the team meant I was traveling on average three out of every four week-ends, which meant I could only go to the Sunday service once a month. Every Friday that I wasn’t on the road I went to the youth group as well, but I always had to leave early. Their youth group went really late, so I would leave in time to be in bed so I could go to the 5am swim practice. Fast forward to Easter of that year, where this particular elder and my grandmother found themselves at the same Easter Conference. My grandmother asked how I was doing, and this elder launched into a speech about how my attendance was erratic, my lack of enthusiasm to being a productive member of the church was shocking, and that I didn’t really seem in to going to church. He said this to my own grandmother! I definitely had a lot of explaining to do, and the story quickly spread through my whole family. I was beyond humiliated. I’m a big believer in the fact that there are two sides to every story, and it still makes me so angry that that elder didn’t once bother to ask me about my attendance or “lack of enthusiam” but just assumed that because I wasn’t there every Sunday that I didn’t care. I was young, alone, going under from the stress of school and swimming and I really needed a church, and I really felt that I was let down. I’ve never gone back to that church, and part of me felt like writing a letter, but my name is already mud there, so I don’t feel like making it worse. The Christian Fellowship on campus is strongly populated with people from that church, and they made it clear that I wasn’t welcome there either.
Once burnt, twice shy…it’s too bad they don’t have a saying about “twice burnt”. Maybe four times shy? Either way, I’d had it with church and being a Christian. My second year of university was uneventful. I went to class, swam a lot, studied a lot, and that was about it. God wasn’t a part of it at all, I don’t think I opened my Bible once and certainly never once talked about my beliefs. The one thing I never wavered on was my belief that there is a God and that he sent his Son to die for our sins. I had the beliefs, I just didn’t live the life of a believer. This is the part of many testimonies that would get really exciting, but mine doesn’t. Nothing really happened that year; I was just at a standstill. Not only was my walk as a Christian on hold, but I was still surrounded by the awful atmosphere of the team. Without my beliefs to hold me fast, and being in a "toxic environment" every day, I was well on my way to spiralling out of control.
Third year was better for me. A lot of my friends were in to clubbing and getting drunk and I wasn’t, so I ended up spending a lot of nights home alone. My two Christian friends didn’t really act the part. They were getting drunk all the time, failing classes, swearing, doing drugs. I found myself getting angry at them for being so stupid, and I had to admit to myself that I really didn’t fit in with the non-Christian crowd. The Lord was planting in my heart that I had to come back to Him, but I was reluctant. As the year went on, the feeling in my gut came harder and harder to ignore. I knew what the right thing to do was, it just took a few months to admit it freely. One night, after a particularly long day of dealing with friends, I opened my Bible and read a few passages. It took me a while, but I was finally back to where I knew I belonged.
Right now I feel as though I’ve more or less got my act together. I’ve got an amazing support group in my church, I’ve got a list of new churches to try out at school, and through my daily studies I’ve really grown in my walk with the Lord. I’m still searching for a group of Christian friends, but I trust in the Lord that that will happen. I’m still plagues though by the feeling that I’m a weak Christian. Why did I let the actions of other people affect my walk with Christ? I should have been stronger than that. As I get older, I want to feel myself wanting to have a stronger role in the church, and I’ve really been considering teaching at a Christian school. As the saying goes, God works in mysterious ways, so maybe I’m supposed to use my experiences to help others? Who knows (expect the Lord, of course!). The one thing I do know is that despite all the bad stuff that happened, I’m so glad that I ended up in the arms of our Creator!

So…that’s my testimony. It’s long, so I tried to edit as much as I could (hope I didn’t bore anyone!). My journey (at least, that’s what I consider it as) to living the life of a believer took a few detours, but only now am I realizing that it has a silver lining. It gave me a much better perspective to the life of someone who doesn’t believe in the Lord, and I’m sure the day will come when that will come in handy!

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”
-John 3:16

Monday, August 28, 2006

My Testimony- Part One

I have heard many testimonies. A few speakers have come to share their testimonies at church, and when I was younger and spent my summers at Bible Camp, there was always a night for people to voluntarily share their testimonies. These testimonies were always so interesting and never failed to include obstacles such as drug use, parents who opposed religion, homelessness, addiction…and the list continues. What I consider my obstacles to living a life for God are so small in comparison, so I would never share mine. People have asked me how I got saved, but I would always give the Reader’s Digest version until now.
I was lucky to have been born into a Christian family, and one that is well-known in my area. There was never any question to the fact that I would grow up with Christian values and morals. The summer right before grade two (I’m a fall baby, so I was still six) my church at the time decided to have a week-long camp. It was there that I heard the story of how God sent His son to earth to save us from our transgressions and that we had to let Him into our hearts. I remember thinking about it all week and that Friday feeling like I couldn’t wait any longer and I had to ask the Lord into my heart NOW. I sat in the field in front the church and prayed. I was so happy and I told my parents right away and wrote the date down in my Bible.
If only it were that simple. I wish the story would end there, but it doesn’t. I think a testimony ends when a person can say that not only did they ask the Lord into their hearts, but that they began to live the life of a born-again Christian. The next few years of my life were uneventful. I went to church every Sunday, went to AWANA every Thursday night, and spent the week memorizing my verses. I had some amazing Christian friends and everything was just peachy. In the days before religion was taken out of the schools, in grade four I brought in my AWANA book and vest and shared with the class what I believed.
The year I was twelve was the year I can pinpoint as the year I started to grow-up and stopped being a child. My paternal grandfather died at the end of grade seven and he wasn’t saved, and I can remember vividly my parents trying to explain to my sister and me why he wasn’t going to Heaven. Up until that point, I think I had naively assumed everyone I loved was joining me in Heaven. That had a big impact on me about the importance of sharing the love of our Lord. That same year, a new family joined our congregation, and I immediately became best friends with the daughter closest in age to me (who I shall refer to as “E”). E and I shared a love of horses, books (I think we read “Love Comes Softly” so many times the cover fell off) and, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. We did EVERYTHING together and would even write letters to each other on the days we had to spend apart and sign them “your horse pal in Christ”. Looking back now, I realize that I was so concerned with my friendship, swim practice and horses that I was blissfully unaware of tensions rising in the church. E’s family had some very different views than what we were used to, and slowly they began to turn members of the chapel against one another. Long story short, there was a huge split in the church that resulted in half the members of the congregation leaving. My family was one of the ones that left. Since my family “sided against” E’s family, our friendship was over. I was too young at the time to really understand what was happening, but in hindsight, I can see that this was a fundamental moment for me. My family had a hard time finding a church we liked as much as our old one, so we sort of floated for a year. This left me with no solid church and no real fellowship at a time when I was getting ready to enter high school. High school is always such a big change, and having a solid Christian background is so essential for a Christian to manage to stay afloat. The split in my old church left me with a lot of bitterness towards the church, and I honestly thought that if Christianity involved back-stabbing, gossiping, tearing friendships apart and changing important beliefs, then I wanted none of it. I already got enough of that at school. I kept going to church because that was what was expected of me from my family, but my heart was completely out of it.
Things started to turn around when I was in grade eleven. My family finally found a permanent church, the one my mom grew up in and my grandmother still attended. We hadn’t originally considered it because it’s a fairly long drive from our house. My grandmother began to teach my sister and I, and I slowly started to warm up again to the idea of loving being a Christian and wanting to follow the Lord, and let Him lead my life. Not completely, but it was a start. The only negative side to our new church was that my sister and I were the only two around each other’s age. We’re three years apart, and I’m the older one, so it was really hard for me to find Christian friends. At this time, my only Christian friend was my best friend, Chelsea, but she didn’t go to the same church as me.


...Part Two to come soon!

Preventing "truth decay"

Driving out to the barn today, I passed the church that has the big sign out in front (I wrote about one of them about a week ago). Today, the sign said: "Prevent truth decay and brush up on the Word of God". Haha- not an amazing pun, but it definitely made me laugh and it definitely is true!

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path
- Psalms 119:105

I've been such a procrastinator lately and haven't posted my (long ago) promised testimony! My plan for the night is to return all my phone calls before it gets too late, make a cup of tea, STOP PROCRASTINATING and get it done! It's really long, which worried me at first, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that when I became saved I really didn't become a committed Christian, and that makes for one long story! I'll try to keep it as concise as I can without taking out too many details.

May we all remember to prevent "truth decay"-

*L

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Frank Outlaw and 2 Peter

I always find it amazing how the Lord always knows what is in my heart. Today the reading during the hymns was from Matthew 8, the chapter I read last night! Then, the speaker referenced Ephesians 6 (so did last week’s speaker, which is kind of funny!). I just wrote a post this week about how I want my feet “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” and the speaker today talked for a while on that exact section of the verse.
I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed lately about how much I still have to know and learn and that I’ve been such a distant Christian. I’ve been really praying about this lately and the Lord has definitely heard my prayers, because the message was about the importance of equipping ourselves with knowledge. Part of the message was that gaining knowledge takes time and we have the let the Lord direct our paths and trust Him to help us learn. It was such a fantastic message, and very reassuring. I had an amazing talk with the speaker afterwards too and he gave me some great passages to look up.
I absolutely love quotes, especially motivational ones, and I have a book where I write down all my favourites (I also have one for my verses) and I was reminded of one of my favourites today in church:

Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny.
- Frank Outlaw

I was reminded of this quote when we read from 2 Peter today, and this verse was read:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
- 2 Peter 1:5-7

Even though these two quotes give different advice, I just love the way that they have similar styles, and that I can apply them both to my life.

Now that I’ve taken the time to sit back and recognize the blessings and direction that the Lord has given me and my life, I’m amazed at the way all my needs are met!

In His Love;

*L

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saying good-bye to summer!

Last night was my last night of work at the centre. It was sad; I’m really going to miss everyone when I go back to school! To mark the end of another summer the entire staff went out last night for dinner. We are split up in different centers all around the city, so it was fun having everyone together again!
Tonight we’ve got company coming for dinner so my family has spent the day getting ready. I worked last night, then had the dinner (which went late into the evening) and now I’ve got to help get ready for supper, so I feel as though I’ve been neglecting my devotions.
This afternoon I took my cat to the vet. He was so bad! He hates it when he has to go though, and I really don’t blame him! He got a clean bill of health, except he might have a thyroid condition so we have to take him back for blood tests. Since he turned 10 this year, he’s now considered geriatric, which makes me sad- it feels like I just got him! The appointment before us ran late because the woman had to put down her cat so she was crying and it made me cry! This is exactly why I gave up on being a vet- I can’t handle pets dying. Blood, surgery…none of that bothers me; putting down a pet, I think I’d be crying harder than the owners!
For my daily verse, I’m going to return to Matthew (the book I’ve been studying):

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’”.
- Matthew 4:4

Definitely something to think about in the week to come!

Hope you all have a safe and fun-filled week-end-

*L

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Apples and Post-Its

A few years ago there was an e-mail forward that circulated around and found its way into my inbox. It was a story about how women are like apples. The basic idea of the story is that the best apples are at the top of the tree, and only the best men will patiently climb the tree to get to the best "apples", and the lazy ones will simply take the ones within reach. The goal behind the story was to make women feel better about themselves and not to feel badly about not having a man. (I tried to find a copy of the e-mail to post, but I can't find my copy!). I was thinking about this when I was at work. As luck would have it, one of the girls at work this summer was the girl my first boyfriend dated after me. She's absolutely GORGEOUS, and she intimidates me (I've always been really intimidated by women that guys oogle- silly isn't it?!?). I found out today that she's actually a model, and all I could think of was "oh great, your first boyfriend moved on to a model!". This was about five years ago, so I don't even think she's made the connection.
When Chelsea and I were out for breakfast, one of the things we discussed was the lack of support and resources for women our age (and maybe older too? I don't know; I've never really asked!) who are struggling in their relationship with the Lord. I know when I was a teen I really needed more than what was available. I've been searching in vain for a good devotional book. One of the things I've always to start was a youth group for teen girls to talk about a whole pile of issues and to get Christian direction on them.
These two thoughts led me to stray away from the book of Matthew for today's devotion and look into verses on women in the Bible. I found a verse that I wished I'd found and memorized when I was young:

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised"
- Proverbs 31:30

I'm writing this verse on a Post-It and sticking it to my mirror!

In His love;

*L

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Buried in paperwork!

It's funny how, in a world that relies so much on computers, we still have so much paperwork! Yesterday there was an incident in the centre and I ended up having to kick a kid out. He came back today with the intention of creating chaos, and definitely suceeded. I now have a ridiculous amount of forms to fill in (City policy!). Plus, I got some forms from the university in the mail, and I've got to fill out forms about my immunizations (one of my courses involves working in the physical therapy unit of the hospital, so we all have to be properly immunized). I'm sitting here looking at a very daunting pile of papers, and I'm not really sure where to start!
As a result of all the commotion at the centre, I ended up working a lot later than I was supposed to, so it looks like a late night for me. I was hoping to post more tonight, but I don't think I'll have time.
In my own private studies, I've been reading from Matthew. Today I studied chapter 6, and found a verse that definitely applies to me, especially after today!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- Matthew 6:34

How lucky we are to have the Lord to lean on in good times and bad!

*L

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pity party- table of one!

Today got off to an interesting start. I slept in today, so around 10 I went to get the mail in my pj’s (the mailbox is right outside the front door). As I was grabbing the mail, out of the corner of my eye I saw someone walk past. The person stopped, and then I heard someone say “Lauren?”. “Oh no” was my only thought. It was a guy I went to elementary and high school with, and we’ve bumped in to each other a few times since then, but I haven’t seen him in a year. He was out walking his dog, and looked very good (he been working out!). Likes to be active? Check. Likes animals? Check. Nice and funny? Check. Christian? No really sure (all this engagement stuff has gone to my head!). I was IN MY PJ’S!!!! I was so embarrassed! He was really good about it though (I mean, we’ve went to school together for eight years, so I’m sure he’s seen me do my fair share of stupid things). I got his new number, so I’m hoping we can get together and catch up before I go back to school. I’m still embarrassed though; I can feel myself blushing as I think about it!
After reading over yesterday’s post, I realized that I sound like such a whiner! I felt worse when I was reminded about how some people have no choice but to scavenge in dumpsters (there was an entry on David Fisher’s blog on this topic). Sigh- hasn’t that ever happened to anyone? When you feel like everything is falling apart and then you realize just how lucky you really have it?
I categorize my favourite verses in a book my grandmother gave me, so I think I’m going to start a new category and call it “pity party”, and include my verse for today:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
- Matthew 10:29-31

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, instead of posting another whiny post, I’ll re-read this verse and remember that the Lord loves me, so much that he knows the number of hairs on my head!

In His Love-

*L

Monday, August 21, 2006

The pleasantness of friends

Friends truly are a blessing! Breakfast (which ended around 1, so I guess it can’t really be limited to just breakfast) was more than a success!
I’m the first person to admit that I am not the perfect Christian; I’m human, I falter, and I sin. I freely admit to that. But thinking it in my head and actually saying it out loud are two VERY different things. Today was the first chance for me in a while to just let it all out and know that the person sitting across from me may disagree but never judge. I got so much off my chest, and was so relieved to hear that my best friend felt the same and was in the same place! As I get older and older, I really realize the importance of fellowship more and more.
As for the rest of the day, I just don’t even know where to begin. When I’m at school and I’m feeling overwhelmed, my own personal coping mechanism is just to wrap myself on my fleece blanket and lie on my bed for five minutes and think of nothing (preferable while cuddling with a cat!). Today would qualify as a “fleece blanket day”. The co-worker (previously referred to as CW) was going through all the stuff being thrown out by the teachers (our centre is based in a school) and stumbled across a child’s prayer book. Obviously religious material is no longer allowed in schools, which is how the book found its way into the trash. Then came the hour long rant from CW about how stupid everything was, and mocking it insistently, all the while knowing he was in the presence of a Christian. I’m so bad at confrontations so I did my best to stop it, but I really hate the way that I couldn’t take this amazing stand and be able to deflect all the comments. I just felt like I was standing there repeating the same things over and over. I don’t think I would have listened to me if I were in his place. I need my fleece blanket! Why oh why did I leave it at school?
I guess my mantra for the day will be “focus on the good”; I had a great five hour (yes, we like to talk!) breakfast with Chelsea, and I managed to speak up somewhat about my beliefs, which is a big step for me. But still, it’s frustrating.

THANKS CHELSEA for the love and support today…my daily verse goes out to you!

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.
- Proverbs 27:9

God bless-

*L

Sunday, August 20, 2006

designer belts vs. belts of truth

Yet another Lord's day comes to an end. It's so hard to believe that the summer is coming to a close!
Today in church the speaker made a joke about how he was in such a rush this morning that he had forgotten to put on a belt, but that he was happy he was always wearing his belt of truth. That statement popped back into my head as I put away my clean laundry and sorted my clothes. I suppose I'm what some may call a "fashion freak"- I absolutely love it. It's my amateur passion. I'm embarrassed to admit that I recently saw "The Devil Wears Prada" and was able to identify all the clothes and their designers. My passion for clothes definitely balance out my passion for sports, and keep me from being labelled a tomboy (although I'm thinking the pj's I wear to a 5am practice aren't going to be sweeping the runways anytime soon!). My biggest weakness are shoes, and many will argue that I have a few too many pairs. My feet will (hopefully!) always be fitted with shoes, but will they always be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace"? I know that nothing is for sure, but by the grace of God I'm hoping so. Wearing the belt of truth will always be better than wearing any belt that I could find in a store.
This afternoon I sat down and began to write out my testimony, and it's taking much longer than I anticipated. I always thought my testimony was pretty short and sweet (and slightly boring), but it turns out it's longer than I originally thought! Tomorrow morning I have a breakfast date with Chelsea, and then I work until late, but hopefully it will be done in a day or two so I can post it.

Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Ephesians 6:13-17

May we all remember to wear our belts of truth-

*L

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Countdown to classes!

Well, the chaos before classes has officially begun! I got an e-mail from the school saying that one of my classes (one of the mandatory ones, of course) has been moved to a new time, which interferes with an elective. All of the other electives which I can take require me to switch around even more classes. It's a vicious never-ending circle! I'm going to make this short, so I can switch around some more classes before my Internet connection dies again. (Of course, it would have to happen at a crucial time of the year).
The basketball tournament was an over-all success. Our centre entered two teams, and they each won one game and lost another. A few kids have some issues with anger and self-control (one kid actually tried to set the building on fire and another was kicked out last year for stabbing someone- no joke, these families need our prayers), and I was very proud of them for handling both their victories and defeats very well. We took them out for a treat afterwards, which was almost as fun as the tournament itself! Diane came to cheer our teams on, and I took her to get her face painted. A good friend of mine works at another centre in the area and her centre entered a team. We had a few minutes alone, so it was good to catch up with her.
On another positive note, my best friend has come back from her trip, so we have a breakfast date on Monday. We both have so much to talk about, and we both are in big need of each other's support, so I'm actually looking forward to Monday!
Well, I'm off to work on the disaster that is my class schedule, but hopefully with any luck I'll be able to post something of actual substance later tonight.
Since I mentioned before that my devotions don't usual involve my three "favourite" books, I decided to spend some time reading through them today, and I found yet another "green" verse that I love:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3:5-6

In Christ;

*L

Friday, August 18, 2006

Psalms, Proverbs and Isaiah

Finally, I managed to get on to the Internet! Are computers really supposed to make our lives easier? Tonight, the Internet kept going up and down, and then sites wouldn't load...and then I just got so frustrated that I walked away, which I why I'm posting so late! I'm assuming that since it's just after midnight that this will show Friday's date, but I'm considering this Thursday's post. Speaking of computers, apparently there is a re-call on my laptop because people have been reporting that the battery will randomly go up in flames. It reminded me of the story from the Bible of the burning bush. One minute you're typing away, or walking past a bush, and the next minute it's up in flames! Although I suppose I can't classify my burning laptop as a religious experience of any sort!
I was flipping through my Bible today, and I couldn't help but take note of the fact that it appears most of my favourite verses fall in three books: Psalms, Proverbs and Isaiah. I've really been relying on verses from these books lately, and I find myself quoting them in my head. I guess it's natural to have parts of the Bible which apply more to you than others. I hesitate to say that the verses in these three books are more "important", because every word in the Lord's Word is important. I have verses underlined in green (for those who missed that post: all my favourites are in green) throughout the Bible, so I'm not limiting myself to a studying just a small section. In fact, my devotions don't take me to those three books very often. When I was younger, I loved hearing stories from the New Testament, which we studied from a lot in Sunday School. Now that I'm getting older, and in a place in my life where people constantly question my beliefs and I'm struggling to keep a stand, verses of encouragement are always a relief to read. Has anyone else ever felt pulled to a certain section of the Bible, or a book in particular? I have no clue if I'm unique in this or not!
The basketball tournament is tomorrow, so I'm praying like crazy it goes well. The kids were practicing all night tonight!

For my daily verse, I read over a lot of my highlighted verses from the three books, and I've picked this one:

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
- Psalms 62:6

God bless;

*L

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A spinster at 21?!?!

The past 48 hours have been crazy! Work has been good, but hectic. We're taking the kids to a basketball tournament on Friday, so I'm praying that that goes well. For the past two mornings before work, I've been researching schools for after I graduate from my undergrad, and a few look promising. Some ever have a strong Christian Fellowship, which I'm starting to realize in going to be very important.
Lately, a lot of my friends have been getting married. Every single person in my old youth group at school (long story!) is married, and they're all my age, some even younger. Sunday at church there was a special speaker, so members from other congregations in the area came, and a lot of the girls I went to Bible Camp with when I was young were there- all married or engaged. The whole day I heard "I'm so-and-so, and this is my husband/fiance Bob". I'm thinking in my head "I'm Lauren, and ... it's just me!". Don't get me wrong, I'm happy they're happy and married to great guys. It's just slighty depressing that at 21 I'm already a "spinster" (it's a good thing I like cats!). All the good guys are being snatched up! Ok, I just realized I sound really superficial and flighty worrying about this. It's just an observation! My best friend and I were talking about this tonight, and about how few Christian guys there are, and apparently they're all married! Is it so hard to find a Christian guy, preferably one who likes sports, animals and is funny? I usually don't obsess about things like this; I mean, yes I want to get married, but I'm only almost 21 (one more month!), so by the time I graduate and get a career started, I'm going to be left with the weird old guy that sits in the back pew. Haha, I'll be Mrs. Backpew. Now that I've made myself sound really needy (none of us are perfect), I'll just say that getting married is something that I, like every other little girl, wanted, so it just made me a little sad that I'm kind of being left in the dust in that area.
Now, a more serious note, and a cute story. One of the girls (Diane) at the centre is having a hard time making friends with the other girls, so I try to hang out with her as much as I can. I never talk about my faith at work unless I'm asked because I feel that work is the place to live by example, and because there are so many kids from different backgrounds there. Diane and I were making a village out of sand in the playground today, and out of nowhere she looked at me and said "you know Lauren, I don't believe in God". I treaded VERY carefully on this topic, and after a while we just sort of switched subjects. By the time we finished our village, the sun was going down and she watched the sunset and then said "although the sky is very pretty right now, so it would be nice to know it was God doing that for us". (On side note, it made me smile when I saw the pictures of sunsets on David Fisher's blog, and then again on Terry's!) Amen to that! If only we could see the world through the eyes of a child once in a while.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:31

God bless-

*L