I'm going...

...away for a month!  Well, not literally away.  I'll be taking a break from all things computer during the month of September.  I'm looking forward to using this time to focus more on God and what He has to teach me.  I also need to learn how to manage my time better.  So, after the massive amount of posting I did in August, things will be dead silent on my blog over the next thirty days.

See ya later!


home in heaven

This little guy was keeping me company this morning.

Along with these pictures, I wanted to share this poem I found today in a book called Hearts of Fire by The Voice of the Martyrs.

Safely Home

I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in heaven at last.

Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! But Jesus’ love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And He came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus’ arm to lean on
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still;
Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,
Pray to trust our Father’s Will.

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand
Do it now while life remaineth
You shall rest in Jesus’ land.

When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you Home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting
Oh, the joy to see you come!

-- Edgar Guest


Everyday's Thanksgiving, Part #3

I'm thankful for:

0041. the new turquoise ring Rachel and Ellie gave me for my birthday

0042. these past five days of being seventeen!

0043. a place to go running and walking with Rachel and Ellie

0044. John Piper's books

0045. cool orange stuff that grows on trees

0046. composition notebooks

0047. email

0048. gift cards

0049. lead

0050. devotional books

0051. the new baby born to a family in my church on Wednesday

0052. Russia

0053. the people around the world who work selflessly to care for and share God's love with orphaned children

0054. summer rain

0055. places on desks that are worn and marked with use

0056. computers

0057. the way God's been leading me lately.  Though I'm blind and I stumble, He is a patient and faithful Guide.

0058. white roses

0059. one more week of summer vacation

0060. the happiness Rachel has playing soccer


Psalm 56:10-11

Psalm 57:7-11

Psalm 62:5-8

Psalm 62:7-8


WOW #2

So, back in January I wrote this post, fully intending to post things like it regularly.  Ha!  I'll try to be more consistent this time around.  Here's some quotes, poems, etc., that I hope will bless you today.

Positive Character Traits (1 Cor. 13:4-5)

• I am patient with you because I love you and want to forgive you.
• I am kind to you because I love you and want to help you.
• I do not envy your possessions or your gifts because I love you and want you to have the best.
• I do not boast about my attainments because I love you and want to hear about yours.
• I am not proud because I love you and want to esteem you before myself.
• I am not rude because I love you and care about your feelings.
• I am not self-seeking because I love you and want to meet your needs.
• I am not easily angered by you because I love you and want to overlook your offenses.
• I do not keep a record of your wrongs because I love you, and “love covers a multitude of sins.”

-- Jerry Bridges

Make your complaint, tell Him how obscure everything still looks to you, and beg Him to complete your cure. He may see fit to try your faith and patience by delaying this completion; but meanwhile you are safe in His presence, and while led by His hand, He will excuse the mistakes you make and pity your falls. But you will imagine that it is best that He should at once enable you to see clearly. If it is, you may be sure He will do it. He never makes mistakes. But He often deals far differently with His disciples. He lets them grope their way in the dark until they fully learn how blind they are, how helpless, how absolutely in need of Him.

What His methods will be with you I cannot foretell. But you may be sure that He never works in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act. -- Elizabeth Prentiss

To always be intending to live a new life, but never find time to set about it—this is as if a man should put off eating and drinking from one day to another till he be starved and destroyed. -- Sir Walter Scott

The Lord be praised for all His tender mercies and loving-kindnesses—unceasing and unwearying as His love. My continual shortcomings, and oftcoming for forgiveness again and again, does not exhaust Him. I should have wearied out the whole host of heaven before this; but Jesus is never wearied with hearing the cries of His poor tried and tempted saints. Always are they welcome, and I think the oftener I go the more welcome I am. Not a frown upon that countenance towards one who really feels his need of Him. A smiling welcome, fraught with mighty blessings, which, while it gladdens the heart, fills the soul with a humbling sense of its own vileness, humbled in self, exalted in Christ. -- Mary Winslow

Light Shining Out of Darkness

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

-- William Cowper

O Lord, if it is not springtime in my chilly heart, I pray You make it so, for I am tired of living at a distance from You. When will You bring this long and dreary winter to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! Quicken me, restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I earnestly implore you, Lord, to take pity upon Your servant and send me a happy revival of spiritual life! -- Charles Spurgeon

Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend. -- Charles Spurgeon

O gift of gifts! O grace of faith!
My God! how can it be
That Thou, who has discerning love,
Shouldst give that gift to me?

How many hearts Thou mightest have had
More innocent than mine!
How many souls more worthy far
Of that sweet touch of Thine?

Oh, grace! Into unlikeliest hearts
It is thy boast to come,
The glory of Thy light to find
In darkness spots a home.

Oh, happy, happy that I am!
If thou canst be, O faith
The treasure that thou art in life
What wilt thou be in death?

-- Elizabeth Prentiss

In this, the hour of our calamity and peril, to whom shall we resort . . . but to the God of our fathers? -- Abraham Lincoln

Always add, always walk, always proceed; neither stand still, nor go back, nor deviate; he that standeth still proceedeth not; he goeth back that continueth no; he deviateth that revolteth; he goeth better that creepeth in his way than he that moveth out of his way. -- Augustine

Lord, evermore Thy face we seek:
Tempted we are, and poor, and weak;
Keep us with lowly hearts, and meek.
Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

-- Charles Spurgeon

For helping and hiding the Jews, my father, my brother’s son, and my sister all died in prison. My brother survived his imprisonment, but died soon afterward. Only Nollie, my older sister, and I came out alive.

So many times we wonder why God has certain things happen to us. We try to understand the circumstances of our lives, and we are left wondering. But God’s foolishness is so much wiser than our wisdom.

From generation to generation, from small beginnings and little lessons, He has a purpose for those who know and trust Him.

God has no problems—just plans!

-- Corrie ten Boom


Seventeen years

Seventeen years ago, we were born.  Our parents were...well...

Let's just say we rocked their world.

I pray for you on your birthday, that your path, as is promised to the just man, will shine not less and less but more and more... -- Elisabeth Elliot


Everyday's Thanksgiving, Part #2

0021. Crayola crayons

0022. Courier font

0023. challenging sermons preached by my dad

0024. earbuds

0025. sunglasses

0026. M & Ms

0027. chocolate chips

0028. going on vacation

0029. the final two weeks before school starts

0030. living in a free country

0031. blank pieces of paper

0032. Nico

0033. snail mail letters

0034. my 17th birthday on Tuesday!

0035. reading other people's blogs

0036. rain clouds

0037. White Sands, NM

0038. the French language

0039. Casting Crowns

0040. my wonderful family



“Quan…are you afraid?”

“I have been reciting a poem written in honor of a missionary martyr. It was widely printed throughout my country. My father had a copy in his Bible and under the desk in case his Bible was taken. I memorized it many years ago. I wrote it on my wall with the soap last week. When you are a great floor scrubber you have access to plenty of soap! It was first written in English, so I memorized it in English. May I recite it to you?”

Ben nodded.

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid—of that?
Afraid? Of what?

Li Quan stopped. He turned his head suddenly.

“What wrong?” Ben asked.

“For a moment…I didn’t hear my voice. I thought…I heard another voice, perhaps two or three voices saying the words. I am sorry Ben. Maybe my mind is becoming unclear.”

“No problema. I’d trade my mind at its best for your mind at its worst. Why don’t you rest for a while and—”

“I will continue.” Quan thought a moment, looked up, then said.

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Savior’s face
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid—of that?
Afraid? Of what?
A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;
Darkness, light, O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid—of that?
Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not—
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
‘Til souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid—of that?

“You sound like you think you’re going to die,” Ben said.

“Of course I am going to die, Ben Fielding. As are you. The only question is ‘Is this the day I die?’ If it is, we should both be ready, should we not?”


“Please take a message to Ming and Shen. Tell them I love them and I will see them again. Give them this verse from Galatians: ‘Don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.’ Tell them the most important words are dao le shihou—‘when the time arrives.’”

One moment Li Quan looked solemn, and the next, a smile crept across his face.

“What is it?” Ben asked.

“Do you remember how I always wanted to write a book?”

“Of course. You were going to be Professor Li Quan, author of many books.”

“A locksmith’s assistant does not become a writer. Yet I am writing a book on the walls of my cell.”


“After I work all day cleaning the other cells, I use a thin piece of soap to write my outline on my wall. When I am satisfied, I memorize it before sleeping. Then I recite it in the morning and begin writing again. Of course, there is no one who actually reads my book. I do not expect it to be published! Still, this is perhaps another joke of providence. Dao le shihou—the time has arrived for Li Quan to write a book!”


The child hung on his mother as they lay back in their bed.

“What is wrong with my Li Shen?” his mother asked softly. She wiped his tears.

“What are they doing to Baba?”

“I do not know. But I know Yesu is with him.”

“I don’t want them to hurt him.”

“Neither do I.”

“I want my Baba to come home.”

“Soon he will be home, safely home,” Ming said. “I sense it. But until then he wants his Ming and his Shen to draw their strength from Yesu.”

Shen drew near and cried upon his mother’s neck. Their tears trickled down, mingling together.


They watched the King, surrounded by a great crowd of angels bringing their concerns before Him. While few of them were permitted this close to His throne, these had special access—not because of who they were but whom they represented.

Li Manchu, Li Wen, and Li Tong came close. Because of their relation to the King, their blood was royal and their access unrestricted. The King drew them into the surface of His vast mind, that they could see what He saw—children abandoned and living on streets, abducted, beaten, molested, cut to pieces by men dressed in white, exterminated by human pesticides.

“See that you do not look down on these little ones,” the King said, projecting His voice toward the dark world so loudly it was heard on earth as thunder. “For I tell you that their angels in heaven always behold the face of My Father.”

The King pointed to a church custodian yelling at children unauthorized to play on the swings and chasing them away. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The King spoke to people out for Sunday dinner after church, who turned away from the street children. “Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”

Then He watched a man and a woman taking children off the streets, bringing them into a building, giving them a warm meal and a cot and safe refuge, and telling them about their Master. On the other side of the planet, in Africa, He watched His people caring for children born with AIDS, many of them orphans now, or soon to be.

He watched His people give the children a warm bath, read stories to them, hug them, and laugh with them. He smiled broadly. “Thank you,” the King whispered, “for doing this to Me.”

He looked now at men plotting and stalking and taking pictures of children, doing to them the unthinkable. He looked at men herding frightened little girls together and selling them to foreigners. He looked at the men in white coats, driving beautiful cars purchased by the blood of children. He looked at those who inflicted the suffering. His eyes smoldered.

“I made these children. I took them into My arms, put My hands on them, and blessed them. And yet you scorn them, use them for your gain, treat them as disposable. It would be better for you to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea than the face what I will surely do to you.”

He looked now at others who turned their heads from the children, too busy to share a meal, a blanket, or a paycheck. They did little or nothing to help the children, and He regarded their failure to help as the inflicting of harm. “To you who look the other way, saying My children are not your concern: Repent! For it is I you have turned away from. I will not forget.”

He gazed at another group of people, those watching out for and reaching out to and helping the children. He said simply, “Well done. Your reward shall be great.”

The King watched the children again, though the men knew He had never stopped watching them. For a moment He smiled, then laughed; then suddenly He saw something else. Tears flowed from His eyes; then they burned with a blistering heat.

“Many on earth look away from the children,” said Li Tong to Fu Liko. “But the eyes of heaven never look away from them. Never.”


Sunday morning Quan recited Shengjing and wrote it on the wall with his sliver of soap, raising both hands as he wrote, since his wrists were manacled together. He wrote what he knew to be the words of Paul, written before he was beheaded by Nero: “The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed… And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Quan read the words, recited them, prayed them. He also prayed for the house church—for his and tens of thousands of others spread across his great country.

He heard the key turn in his lock. He expected food, but what he saw was Tai Hong. Quan shuffled backward.

“You distributed illegal Bibles. Others helped you. I want names from you. Names of Chinese and names of foreigners. If you give me those names, I will get you out of prison. If you do not, I will hurt you.”

“I cannot betray my brothers.”

“Then deny the Christ you profess to believe in. If you do that, I will go easy on you.”

“I cannot deny my Lord.”

“A Chinese citizen’s loyalty is to the state!”

“My loyalty is to Yesu, Lord of heaven, Lord of China.”

Tai Hong slapped Quan with an open hand and cried out from the sting of his own blow. Angrily, he pulled a flashlight from his belt. He hit the side of Quan’s head with it, breaking the hard plastic molding. Now Hong held his hand, feeling even more pain.

Quan dragged himself to his feet. Hong raised the flashlight in the air, poised to strike again. Then he threw it against the wall. He drew a large pistol and pointed it at Quan, finger on the trigger. Then he shifted it in his hand, raised it high, and swung down the pistol’s butt against Quan’s head. It landed with a crunch. Quan’s skull gave way.


“This is the day,” said one father.

“Die well, My son,” said the Other.

* excerpt taken from "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn, pages 354-359


Everyday's Thanksgiving, Part #1

I got this interesting idea from Jessina, who got it here.  And I decided to join in!  I really do have so much to be thankful for, but honestly, I take it for granted so often, I think there may be some times when I doubt I can get up to 1,000.  However, I'm going to!  Because there's at least 10,000 things I should be thankful for in my life, and getting to 1,000 will be a piece of cake with that mindset.  Even if I start thanking God for things like toilet paper and Kleenex which, since He brought it to mind, I've just thanked Him for anyway.  I would gladly hug the person who invented those precious items.  But I hope I can think of more interesting things than that.

Anyhow, let's begin! * the ones in bold go along with the pictures

0001. Scotch tape

0002. landscape paintings

0003. listening ears

0004. and mouths that speak wisdom and advice

0005. a precious baby sister given to my family over 4 1/2 years ago

0006. blogs like Real Hope for Haiti, that tell the facts as they are and have helped prepare me for some of the things I may experience on the mission field

0007. unexpected songs that I fall in love with, such as "I Will Lift My Eyes" by Bebo Norman, which is posted below

0008. the day I discovered blogging!  I never imagined I'd have to much fun doing it.

0009. sharpened pencils

0010. leather journals

0011. the pleasure of anticipating a birthday

0012. timelines

0013. calculators that do the math for me ;D

0014. classical piano music

0015. the Greek alphabet

0016. scholarships

0017. dandelions

0018. zip drives--simply marvelous things

0019. rickrack

0020. and riffraff


I Will Lift My Eyes

I recently found this song on youtube, and I love it!  One of my favorite bits is at the beginning of the chorus, where it says: "I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can't climb."  How great and awesome is our God!

To You I lift up my eyes,
O You who are enthroned in the heavens!
Psalm 123:1


Let the Children Come

Decades later I was speaking to a group when I challenged parents to “Bring your little one to the Lord Jesus. He has said, ‘Let the children come to me; the kingdom of God is theirs.’” (See Matthew 19:14.)

Then I told how I had made a decision for Jesus when I was five years old.

After that talk I left the platform, and went into a small room in the building where I found a father with two little boys, all on their knees. The father had an arm around both of those boys, and I moved back quietly while the man told the boys tenderly that they were not too young to ask Jesus to come into their hearts.

What a wonderful heritage those boys have, to know that their father cared enough about them to lead them to a knowledge of their heavenly Father!

Later I received a letter from a lady who told me the results in her life of that evening.

I went home after that meeting and went directly to my little girl, Mary, who was in bed. She knew about the Lord because she had been to a Sunday school, but that night, in her bed, she gave her heart to Jesus.

The next morning she said, “Oh, Mommy, I’m so happy that Jesus is now in my heart. He made me a child of God.”

Mary was singing the whole time before she went to school, and I was amazed that she sang many songs about heaven.

My husband went to school to pick her up that day, and as he approached the schoolhouse, he noticed that a great many people were standing around, and there obviously must have been an accident. Then he saw what had happened.

Mary was on the street, her little body crumpled like a rag doll. She was dead.
As I read that letter my eyes were so filled with tears that the words blurred.

Mary had passed behind a big transport truck and had not seen another car, which was coming toward her from the other direction. She was killed immediately.

My husband brought her little body home. He was in deep despair, but then he remembered the songs Mary had sung that morning. I told him what had happened the evening before, and right then, my husband, who had never made a decision for the Lord Jesus, accepted Him as his Savior.

On Mary’s burial day many children of her class came to the Lord.
I sat for a long time with that letter on my lap, realizing that I must have a new sense of urgency to talk to parents about the joy of leading their children to the Lord. What a wonderful assurance Mary’s parents had to know that someday they would be with her again.

During some of my talks I have often repeated this little poem:

Said a precious little laddie,
To his father one bright day,
“May I give myself to Jesus,
Let Him wash my sins away?”

O, my son, but you’re so little,
Wait until you older grow,
Bigger folks ‘tis true, do need Him,
But little folk are safe, you know.

Said the father to his laddie,
As a storm was coming on,
“Are the sheep all safely sheltered,
Safe within the fold, my son?”

“All the big ones are, my father,
But the lambs, I let them go,
For I didn’t think it matter,
Little ones are safe, you know.”
-- Corrie ten Boom

* Excerpt taken from "In My Father's House" by Corrie ten Boom


Just God's words today...

I will teach you, and guide you in the way you should go.
I will keep you under My eye.
Do not behave like horse or mule, unreasoning creatures,
whose course must be checked with bit and bridle.
Many are the torments of the ungodly;
but unfailing love enfolds him who trusts in the Lord.
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad...
Psalm 32: 8-11

Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
Isaiah 1:18

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the thigns that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy.
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD
Because I have sinned againt Him,
Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.
He will bring me out to the light,
And I will see His righteousness.
Micah 7:7-9

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:30-31

And then there's the entire chapter of Romans 8...which I'll leave you to read for yourself.


Red River continued...


Thursday morning we went fishing, and caught one fish.  It was our only one over three days, but it was still worth it!

There were at least twenty ducks next to the ponds at any given time.

My fancy-shmancy fishing pole.


Friday morning we went on the ski lift.  I went on this three years ago, and it was terrifying, but this time it was a lot of fun!  At least...it was fun in between juggling a camera, a sweater, and two bottles of Mountain Dew...trying, along with my dad, to hold onto Chloe...and calming my racing heart every time they would have to abruptly stop the lift, jerking us to a halt and letting us swing like pendulums for the next few moments.  Other than all that, it was great! :)

It was beautiful at the top.

This bird was hitching a ride on the cable, all the way to the top!

Half of the town.

A funny sign.  I guess they wanted to make sure that we were watching out for any cows--or rocks--that could come tumbling down from the mountain onto us at any given moment.

Red River 2010

Today my family and I got back from a nice trip to Red River, NM.  We left on Wednesday, and had a great time while we were there!  We took tons and tons of pictures, so I'm going to make the pics a bit smaller than I've had them lately, and also put them into two posts.  Enjoy!


We were able to rent a little cabin right by the river, which was very nice.

Our backyard

It started pouring rain right when we got there, and since it rained on the mountain too, all the dirt and everything came down with the water, making it a weird color.  It cleared up by that night, though.

There were daisies everywhere...

and we picked most of them!

About to go on a walk

I was going for a loving sister picture...Ellie was going for something...a bit different.

And of course, I had to practice some of my Jedi moves. ;D
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