December 19, 2011

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

I simply just love Christmas. This combination of a break from school, special times to serve God, wonderful times with a loving family, the food, and music that completely reflects the light of God just add to a spirit of love and joy. How sad I am for those who have not realized the true Spirit of Christmas!

I believe that the true spirit of Christmas is the Spirit that came to earth after Jesus left. That Holy Spirit of God who enables the righteous of God to act righteous and have the fruits of the Spirit. People always talk about getting into the "Christmas spirit" and, yes,  that Christmas spirit of wonder and stuff is easy to achieve for a kid. But have you ever stopped to consider the wonder available to all of us Christians?

In the past two weeks at church we have been going over a sermon series called The Christmas List. (Note: if you want to watch the sermon click here) What's on that list? An ancient list of virtues that Christmas should inspire in us. What are those virtues? The three virtues taken from Luke 2:1-16  (most notably vs.10,11,13 and 14) are:
  1. Joy (the natural outflow of having a relationship with God)
  2. Peace (peace=wholeness in God through Jesus)
  3. Good-Will (means that God is delighted to offer you His favor)
It's such a short list, but it caries such an opportunity to have true delight in Christmas. As I look at this list, it's apparent that we could not have these virtues if Jesus did not come down to earth and that event is what we celebrate on Christmas! At Christmas time we can celebrate this ability of joy, peace and good-will from God.

These virtues remind me of one of my favorite poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called Christmas Bells. This poem was written by Longfellow during a tough time in his life. Not only was the Civil War wraging but he had also just lost his wife. All these bad things had happened to him, yet he still had that wonderful Christmas Spirit. The Christmas Spirit he had was the one enables us to have unfailing joy in any circumstance.
     
Christmas Bells
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
        And wild and sweet
        The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
   
And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
        Had rolled along
        The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
    
Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
        A voice, a chime,
        A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
    
Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
        And with the sound
        The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
    
It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
        And made forlorn
        The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
    
And in despair I bowed my head;
    "There is no peace on earth," I said;
        "For hate is strong,
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
    
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
        The Wrong shall fail,
        The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men."

December 16, 2011

Christmas Poem

Here is a Christmas poem I wrote for my mom a couple of Christmases ago. I think it sums up the wonder of Christmas in my own words.

I like to think that if I was one of those angels from the realms of glory who sang in front of the shepherds that first Christmas, this is what I would sing. It's not a song, but a psalm (well, my version at least).

I hope it inspires thoughts of the wonder of God Himself coming to this earth, this dirty earth, because of His love for us. If that wasn't enough, Jesus came with a foreboding death. Why was that? Well so that in turn we  might have life, eternal, blissful life in Heaven with God. That just makes me want to shout praises to the Lord! I'm curious, what makes you want to praise the Lord?


My Christmas Psalm
By Brooke Budewig (13)

An infant boy came on this night,
One of the many born each day.
Some would say it is trivial but...
He is God's only begotten Son.

Rejoice! He will give us all hope
And will release us from our chains.
Have joy the Christ has come tonight.
He is the promised Prince of Peace.

Never stop your rejoicing,
The unattainable thing has arrived!
No the world can be cleansed of its sins.
He is the Savior of the world.

Yes, the Messiah has come,
The Merciful High Priest has come,
The Way, the Truth and the Life has come.
He is the precious Lamb of God.


November 30, 2011

Celebrating with Advent

     It's finally the Christmas season! This is the time I look forward to each year. It's not the presents that I look forward to, it's the family time. Seriously, it's the fact that though most of the country makes Christmas out to be a holiday of gifts, the season is truly about Christ coming to earth. Even amongst all this commercialism, there are some people who are able to celebrate Christmas how it should be celebrated, and I love that!
     One of the ways my family makes the Christmas season about Christ is we celebrate advent. Starting December 1st, every night (well, we try to do it every night) we light an advent candle that either is the Prophecy (hope) candle, Bethlehem (love) candle, Shepherd's (joy) candle, and Angel (peace) candle. We add on a new candle to our lighting each Sunday as we lead up to the lighting of the Jesus candle on Christmas morning.
      After lighting the candle and talking about the name of the candle, we sit down and read a selected reading in the Bible. The reading usually corresponds with the last candle we light. Then we talk about some prayer requests that we have and then take turns praying about them.
      Once we have done this my sister plays Christmas carols on the piano (yes, sometimes I attempt to play them too but she tends to always sound much better than me). The carols could be Silent Night, Frosty the Snowman, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Carols of the Bells (a very hard song to sing), Rockn' Around the Christmas Tree (my mom's favorite) or even The Twelve Days of Christmas. We always have tons of fun singing!
  
  
     When we have had our fill on praising the Lord and having a joyful time, we pick out a Christmas story book to read. I am 15 years old and my sister is 18, we have been doing this every since I can remember and it has never gotten old. No matter how old I get I think I'll always enjoy the cozy time I have listening to my mom or dad read a book while I sip steamy gingerbread tea or Christmas creamer'd coffee.
      We read the same books every year yet my family always laughs at the same things in each book. We sing the same songs each year, yet we never get sick of it, it brings us just as much joy as the night before. This time of advent helps me to celebrate Christmas just as I think God would like it to be celebrated, with joy towards Him and praise towards Him for sending His Son to earth and to show this joy surrounded with the family He has blessed me with.




October 30, 2011

Lavender Tears

     In the Bible times the perfume, nard, was composed of lavender oil. My inspiration for this poem were two stories of women in the Bible. One is the story of the sinful woman who came to Jesus and weeped at His feet, wiping them with her hair and pouring perfume on them seeking forgiveness (Luke 7:36-50). The other story is of Mary who anointed Jesus in Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13; John 12:1-8).
     
      One day at a girl's retreat that I went to with my church we had a dedication time. In that dedication time we all got a little vial of lavender perfume which we poured out as symbol of pouring ourselves out to God and dedicating ourselves to living for Him. I will always remember this time because it was there that I started to pursue a relationship with my God.

Lavender Tears 
By Brooke Budewig 


Filled to the brim with much sorrow,
Overcome with the weight of her deeds:
The woman runs forward crying.

She knows the amount of her sin
She has carried the burden around,
She has been forever weary.

Now there is hope she lent herself,
One hope she now allows for herself.
"If only I could see Jesus."

So now here she is - here with Him.
Now she can do what she's wanted to do,
So she cries lavender tears.

She cries tears filled with remorse,
Understanding, discernment and grief.
She cries lavender tears to anoint. 

Her great tears are an offering,
Holy and pleasing to her Lord God.
Now her burden is forgiven.

October 16, 2011

Be a Rose, Not a Daffodil

Today at church I heard this analogy story:


Once there was a rose. Her parents planted her, watered her and made sure she got plenty of sunlight (as every parent should). She prospered and thrived.
Then her aunt came along and told her she made a wonderful daffodil. So the rose started to think I am such a good daffodil, I should keep on acting and being like a daffodil.
People she knew continued to tell her she made a good daffodil. Some even said she was a good daisy, or a good sunflower or a good morning glory. The rose lost track of what God had created her to be and kept on being what others thought that she should be.

The moral of the story is this: don't let people tell you what you should be, be what you know God wants you to be. Center your plans around what God wants. A verse goes, " For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10).God has made us with certain things in mind, seek out His will and follow Him like He said we should when He was on earth, 

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"(Matthew 16:24-26) 
Life here on earth doesn't matter, we should not forfeit our soul in order to become wealthy or prosperous. No, rather we should follow God, losing our life for His purpose. We should be roses when the world around us tell us to be daffodils.
So think about it: what is God calling you to do in your life? Shine the light of Jesus more? Or maybe be a more faithful friend? Whatever you do, do it for God. Do it to follow God and to be the handiwork that He skillfully created.





October 12, 2011

Wishes, Hopes and Dreams

Wishes, Hopes and Dreams
By Brooke Budewig


She blows on the dandelion
so the fluffs fly away.
She has a wish; a hope.
She has a dream for life,
she hopes her dream is heard.

Wind blows on the dandelion
so the fluffs fly away.
It wishes for the earth,
hopes for it's rebirth and
dreams for its renewal.

He blows on the dandelion
so the fluffs fly away.
He dreams for the day when
His beloved will come to Him.
He knows that day will come soon.

He wishes for her to be
comforted there on earth,
though it is not her home.
He hopes and dreams for her
until she comes to Him.

October 10, 2011

Training in Godliness

Yesterday I did a devotion for a youth group I'm in; it was about training in godliness. I thought I would post it here so more people can see it.

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, 
I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

What Paul is saying here is that we should live our lives for God, we should live our lives the way He would want as revealed to us in the Bible.

As I was preparing my devotion I noticed just how many verses have this theme of training in godliness in it. So I thought to myself, "it must be important then!" One of the verses I found was 1 Timothy 4:7-8 which says,"...train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." I love these verses! They show me why I need this training, it has value for the life to come (heaven).

The other verse I found is Hebrews 12:1 which says, "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." This gives me an analogy for why I need this training in godliness. My life is a race, the training I do helps me to "throw of everything that hinders" and "run with perseverance."

You might be thinking as you read this that to train yourself to live like God wants is something impossible. I'll be truthful, the reason I chose this topic to do for a devotion is because I've been struggling with training in godliness. I've been discouraged about it, but God has been teaching me some things and that's what I want to share. God has shown me that He is faithful and will help me with my training in godliness. I guess you could call Him my Personal Trainer.

As someone who has accepted God's gift of salvation we can go to Him in prayer about our training, we can tell Him about the sins that we seem not to be able to overcome in our training. We can confide in Him, for we cannot do our training without Him. Even though we want to believe we can train on our own, we need our Personal Trainer. By praying we are able to contact our trainer God.

My current favorite verse (it changes a lot) is Philippians 4:6-7 which says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This verse has given me a lot of encouragement in the past and recently. It reminds me of what I should do- when I don't know what it is I should do: I should pray.

Sometimes in my life I get so stressed and anxious. When I go to God in prayer about it, He is faithful to do what He says in the Bible and He gives me peace.

My advice to you if you are struggling in your training in godliness is to pray about it. Give it to God. It is the best thing to do and it's what God's Word says to do.

October 7, 2011

Desiring God

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 
 Psalm 73:23-26


    These verses show what a person who has accepted Christ as their Savior from sin's relationship with God should look like. You might have heard before that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship, and this is completely true.

When I was almost twelve years old I started to get to know God like the psalmist did. I had gone on a grirls' retreat with my church, and at it I noticed all these older girls who had such a wonderful relationship with God. It was like the Lord was their number one desire, and that He helped them in their lives. When I noticed all of this, I decided that I wanted God to be like that in my life, too. After the retreat I decided to start having a quiet time and then started getting to know God, my Savior.

Well that's my story, or testimony as you might call it, and it helps make the point that I'm writing about: we should all get to know God, that is what He made us for. It says in Romans 12:2 to, " not conform to the pattern of this world..." in other words don't conform when books or movies or friends tell you that God does not exist, or that getting to know Him isn't worth the time. The verse continues saying, "...but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." A way to renew your mind is to get to know God through prayer and study of His word. The last part of the verse goes, "...then you will be able to test and approve what God's Will is, His good pleasing and perfect will."

A big struggle for me is finding out what the Lord wants me to do with my life, or even what He wants me to do during the day in regards to how to treat people or the decisions I make. This verse encourages me to trust God and get to know Him through prayer and His Word because then, it says, I can know what God's Will is. Life is so confusing though, decisions to struggle with are everywhere whether it's deciding if that TV show is pleasing to God, or if that friend is a godly influence or if you should go on that mission trip.
This last example I gave is one that I had to make recently. The opportunity to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua or Guatemala. It was an incredibly hard decision to make, it tested my faith in God to supply me with the wisdom and the spiritual discernment, but He did prove faithful.

I have decided to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua for a month with a group called Adventures in Missions or AIM. I'm excited about going! A month long mission trip to another country will be a new experience for me. I can tell that my relationship with God will be tested. It's a good thing that I've learned that it's amazing how we can learn to trust God and have peace in Him when we get to know Him. Until the mission trip, and during the mission trip I will be learning more and more about how that is true.

September 25, 2011

A Chosen People

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

     This is what God created us to be. In the beginning of the world God had in mind that He created us to be special to Him, a people that He loves. So God created us in His image. God didn't create any other being like us. How wonderful! To know that someone cares for you so much they made you in a special way. It makes me feel wonderful!
    
      With this in mind, why do we always put ourselves down? Yes, we do have a sinful nature rotting us to the core, but that core is good and created by God Himself, and that sinful nature was scraped away from our soul when we accepted Christ as our Savior. We should view ourselves like God views us, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Being a part of Christ, being in Christ's inheritance, being worthy enough to be Christ's bride.
    
     Maybe that is why humanity cannot be satisfied. They are confined to a dark and dim world, full of things below them. Inside we know there is more. Heaven is that more. So we invent ways of making a "heaven"  and are never quite satisfied.
    
     We are so much more than what scientists make us out to be! We were made for a special purpose, whether that purpose is to be a missionary, stay at home mom, pastor, doctor, janitor, or even a person who blesses others even when they are crippled. God has given us each abundant talents and spiritual gifts. We need to live for God and use those gifts.

A couple years ago I wrote a poem that goes with this topic:

 Masked Flowers
By Brooke Budewig

Walking into a garden
I suddenly stopped and stared
at some queer little faces.

Their big, bold, dark eyes and mouth
revealed cryptic emotion -
deep within their mind and soul.

Perhaps they - being like us
hide behind their cheerful masks
of purple, blue or yellow.

Perhaps they - being like us
try to fit in with the rose.
They want to feature beauty.

Perhaps they - being like us
want to be greater than a mask,
and more than just a flower. 







September 5, 2011

God's beautiful Love

    
     The word beautiful is the mere essence of God's love. As I've gone about my life, a dreamer, not really belonging to this harsh world full of deceit, slander, murder, hatred and lust I've noticed how indescribable God's love is. So much so that I've decided to try to write about it and spread the news and joy of His love that He has lavished upon you and me.

     The knowledge I have about His love is that it is full, faithful, forgiving, just, and much more. I have found out all this by reading His Word the Bible. Particularly the prophecy books reveal much about God's love more so than the other books of the Bible (excluding the gospel because that is where God's love took human form). Never the less, knowledge of God's love doesn't make the dreamer in me cry and sob like the hope of God's love does.
    
     What I mean by the hope of God's love is the satisfying qualities of it. I mean the emotional qualities of God's love, that feeling you get (I don't like to define God's love with the word feeling, but there is no other word I can think of to describe it) when that big hole inside you, that has been left empty because of sin, is finally completely filled up and you can have peace. Then that peace results in a hope you have never had.
That is the hope I've had by listening to Martyr's Song by Tod Agnew.


     
     This song reduces me to tears every time I listen to it, even when I'm sad or have been running from God, for it brings me back to Him. In this song Tod Agnew portrays the fact that Jesus has been waiting for us to be finally home (home to heaven). That is one of the things that this hope is about: through God's love we have been given the hope of heaven, our eternal resting place. I do not mean to sound cliche when I say that heaven is our eternal resting place, for it is completely heart warming when you look at that statement in a new way.
    
    In heaven we will be free of the want and temptation to sin. We will be away from sin around us that makes us feel swallowed up, for in heaven we will be finally home. Here in our current state we are not home in the truest sense of the word. We are aliens and pilgrims, we do not belong here. God did not create us with this standard of living in mind. He created us to live with Him. Fully in relationship with Him, walking and talking with Him.
     
     God created us to experience His indescribable love, and in heaven we will be able to finally experience it like He wanted us to from the beginning. Until then, God waits and stands by our side. He comforts us, He provides for us, He helps us tell others about Him and He also steadies us through the trial of living in a place where we do not belong. 
    
     God reminds us everyday how much He cares and has cared for us through His nature (one of the reasons I love His creation so). In the Bible Jesus (God in flesh) said:
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.... So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them." (Matthew 6:28, 31-32)
Look at the care God took to these flowers. They are just here for our enjoyment, but yet God took such care.


                                        


     It's beautiful, lovely and amazing all in one to think that the God who takes care of these flowers takes care of me. He loves me even more than He does these flowers! It's awesome.
I hope that I have been able to portray God's love so that you can be inspired and encouraged just as I have.

August 16, 2011

Pictures From Alaska

 From the airport to glaciers, mountains, the Alaska Botanical Garden, Bible clubs and block parties I have a bunch of pictures. I hope you enjoy them.
     

 
Left: The mission team at the airport  Right: The awesome view from above 
Below: One of many beautiful flowers
                                                     
                                

Above: Mountains
Below Left: My dad, me and the Portage glacier 
Below Right: Anchorage Skyline  
 
                
Above: My dad and me
Below Left: Another beautiful flower
Below Right: The sign for the Alaska Botanical Garden
                                                                                                               


Above Left: My dad and me at the Alaska Botanical Garden
Above Right: Forget-Me-Nots (Alaska state flower) 

                                                        Pictures from the Bible clubs

                                                 Pictures from our first Block Party
                                       Left: Ms. Germain  Right: Me teaching the gospel story
                                                                     
                                                        Pictures from our second Block Party

                                          
My dad : -)
  
Left: Tim who accepted Christ at the block party
Right: Me teaching the gospel story (again)

All in all I'll let the pictures speak for the incredible time we all had. I've keep on saying it because it is so true, the Lord worked mightily through the team.

August 9, 2011

Rejoicing

     Now that I finally recuperated from my week in Alaska I've been able to spend some time with the Lord in prayer (prayer not spent complaining to Him about my depression and exhaustion.) I've been able to truly think about all the work that He did through the mission team. Whenever I think about 20 people getting saved and about 200 individuals hearing about God's love, I'm in awe with God so much more.

     I'm grateful to God for doing so much through this mission trip. It's wonderful to think that the angels in heaven are also rejoicing and I'm pretty sure that God Himself might just be rejoicing too (See Luke 15:10).
As I think about beautiful Kapao (the girl who I led to the Lord) I start to worry for her as she is now faced with being different. She is now a Christian in a dead, sinful world. I am worried for her, but I shouldn't be.

     As soon as I start to worry about her and mourn for (to put it dramatically) how hard her life is going to be as a Christian I stop myself. Why do I mourn? For she was dead, but now she is alive (See Colossians 2:13) That is a cause for rejoicing!!! It is not a cause for mourning. God can take care of her now. He is amazing. He is awesome in the truest sense of the word. He can take care of her and protect her. He knows what she can handle. I rejoice in that.  
 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!"
Psalm 40:16

     Now that I have written this dramatic update about Kapao, I remember back to when she got saved. After she had accepted Jesus as her Savior, there was a beautiful double rainbow that appeared in the sky.  I was just reminded that the first rainbow (during Noah's time) was the sign of God's promise not to wipe out the world with water again. Get that? It was the sign of God's promise. It was the sign of God's care.

     At the time when I first saw the rainbows I was some-what selfish and thought that it was merely God showing his happiness that I had led my first person to Him. Now I realize it was a sign of God's promise that He would be faithful to Kapao.

August 2, 2011

Alaska Mission Trip

     Alaska was wonderful! I had an amazing time planting seeds of the good news of Salvation through Christ and actually being blessed enough by God to be able to harvest a seed and lead a child to the Lord.
I'm kind of depressed and sad to be leaving behind such a need in Anchorage. I came to know all of these kids and students and learn of their needs. If I could, I would have stayed behind with them, but I have a life to live here at home.
    
     All I can do now is pray for all of the kids and trust that God is with them. I pray that God would equip them "with everything good for doing His will" (Hebrews 13:21a).
It's all up to God now, and God is faithful. I trust that He will be faithful to the the new believers in Anchorage also.
    
     I am glad that what Paul said to the church of Colossians is true,"For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit" (Colossians 2:5). This comforted Paul, so it will comfort me.
    
     I'm so thankful to God for the work that He did through the mission team from my church. He did mighty things. We have changed some of these kid's and student's lives for the better. Blessed be the name of the Lord and "how beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Isaiah 52:7). It was the Lord who did all of the work, the others and I were just there as willing vessels.

July 23, 2011

Opportunities

     As I've been going about my best summer break ever I am so very thankful to God. He is the one who has put all of these wonderful opportunities and experiences in my path. It's awesome to know that what God's Word says is true : Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
    
     I've been practicing on just caring what the Lord thinks and just caring about doing what He wants. I have taken my delight in the Lord, for He is so worth it. He is abounding in love and faithfulness! (see Exodus 34:6)
    
     What do I get for delighting in the Lord? Let me just list all of the opportunities that have come to me that have been the desires of my heart. God has given me the opportunity of the Alaska mssion trip, student council, student prayer team at church, VBS with my mom, fun summer camps, amazing Christian friends, a chance to see that I'm not one of the only one's striving to please God (I feel my family's the only one sometimes) and friendships with people I can minister to. Those are just some of the opportunities God has given me.
    
     God has also given me the main desire of my heart: to grow closer to Him this summer. Before all of the summer craziness started I was scared that like last summer I would stop spending time with God and that I would be lazy and stop following Him so closely. This did not happen. God proved Himself to be faithful (of course) and I actually grew closer to God. Hallelujah! I'm so thankful to God.

     As my mom says, "be about the business of loving God and everything will fall into place."

Refreshment

I wrote this poem a couple days ago. I thought I would share it.

Refreshment
By Brooke Budewig

When the rain pelts,
when the storms proceed
God is working.

God is with storms
as they cleanse all things
and leave them new.

He is with rain
as it pours on us
as a refreshment.

Rain blesses us
and makes us clean.
Rain is God's love.

Storms bless us too.
They wash away all
things unneeded.

The Lord seeks out
those who need refining.
He sends His love.




July 22, 2011

Getting Ready

     Most of this week I've been working kind of hard at training for the Alaska mission trip. What sort of things am I training for? Well in Alaska we will be hosting block parties. My role at these block parties is to run a "booth" telling kids the gospel story with silly bands and an evang-a-cube. Cool right? I been taking this very seriously. On Monday I figured out how to put the gospel silly bands, the evang-a-cube and the 6 gospel points in my story.  I'll even be telling the kids about what the Bible is (like that it is God's Word, God spoke to men how to write it and that the story I'm going to tell them is from it).  Of course I'm going to be putting a bunch of verses into the story (which means I'm having to make sure I know them all by heart). After experiencing the power of God's Word I've decided to let the Holy Spirit do most of the major talking.
    
     Another thing I've been doing is gathering and preparing materials for review games that I will be leading in our bible clubs we will be hosting. It's been fun. Small crafts with a purpose are one of the things I enjoy doing.
    
     All in all I've been kind of busy. Hopefully all of it will pay off. I've been praying that God has been preparing the hearts of His little ones so that they will respond to the good new of salvation from sin (and maybe some adults who happen to listen will respond also).
    
     I'm so excited about Alaska. This will be basically the first time I will be sharing the gospel in mass. I've only shared it with a couple of people and that's it. It will be so awesome to help spread God's message of redemption. The Lord is worth all of my planning. As 2 Corinthians 5:20 puts it:
"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."

July 20, 2011

Church Camp

     Last week was church camp at Alto Frio Baptist Camp. I had a blast! I got to know all of my friends from church much better and have wonderful fellowship with them. It was a great time to prepare spiritually for the mission trip. All of the worship was so wonderful and it was so much fun just getting out there away from distractions and just praising my Lord for all that He is. I had an awesome time. : )
Every day we were suppose to do a quiet time (bible reading and prayer time). Yet again I could see how transforming the word of God is!
    
    Multiple church groups were there and we had this thing called family groups where we had a group of teens our age from random churches. Well.... from the way my family group talked I don't think they had as much change as the people from my church did. I think it comes down to the fact that my youth pastor put his foot down and had us all do our quiet times. The other church groups didn't all do their quiet times. The Bible is truly right when it says in Hebrews 4:12,
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
    I have come to realize this is very true. There is power in God's Word the Bible.

July 18, 2011

Updating

     Hello again blog. I was almost getting the hang of blogging and then I had to go on vacation where they didn't have wy-fi. Oh well.. I'll start gradually catching you up on what's been happening in my now turned busy life.

     My vacation to Louisiana was great! My dad's friends that we stayed with were so nice and hospitable (and their food was delicious). By the end of the week they wanted my sister and me to start calling them Aunt, Uncle, Grandma and Grandpa. They are like extended family now. 
     One of the days we went to an Alligator farm and I actually got to hold a real alligator. It was pretty awesome!


Another day we went to the Tabasco factory.
Close to there was a park where I got some good creepy yet beautiful pictures  





Another day we went on a swampy lake tour.



Yet another day we went on an air boat ride in the swamp.


Liz from Swamp People's hunting camp



I'll let the pictures speak for me on how much fun I had.
  
     I enjoyed just being able to relax before church camp and the Alaska mission trip. I'm thankful to God for letting me have such a restful time. I have to end this update with a Psalm of praise to God so here's some of Psalm 18:
32 It is God who arms me with strength
   and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
   he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
   my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
   and your right hand sustains me;
   your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
   so that my ankles do not give way.