Posted in Movies

A Walk To Remember

A Walk To Remember is one of my favorite movies. It tugs at my heart. The main character, who has a strong-rooted faith in God, befriends and falls for the school’s bad guy. There’s a little secret though that she hasn’t shared, but that I won’t share either. 

I appreciate Jamie’s strong convictions. That purity and faith is what draws Landon to her in the first place. Even after they start dating, she maintains boundaries. He tempts her, but she doesn’t give in to the desire to keep a boyfriend. Yes, Mandy Moore is a pretty lady, but the character’s true beauty lies in the faith that begins in her soul and emanates out her eyes.

Dating a guy who openly doesn’t share her faith does seem like a risky move on Jamie’s part. In her case, she’s able to stand her ground and the guy respects her faith. In other cases though, it could be very easy for the guy to pressure her to stray away from her faith and convictions. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of story either where Landon comes to share her faith.

Overall their relationship is wonderfully set sweet. He pursues her, even after she pushes him away. He respects her father. He listens to her remembers her bucket list; then he starts helping her check it off. He even dances with her under the stars. (Mop my heart up off the floor, please.) Only hope.

Now I know life can’t be like the movies because this movie is a work of fiction, but watching it does give me happy feelings. If you haven’t seen it, check it out, and if you have, watch it again. Then, let me know your thoughts. 

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Posted in Bible Study, Devotion

A metaphor too cool to keep in

This is too good of a metaphor not to share even though I should be going to bed.

“and he made from one man every nation of all mankind to live on all the the face of the Earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yes he is actually not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:24-27
I’ve heard the first part of this verse quoted by my Alma mater many times since it’s their motto, but maybe I’ve never read it in context. Some cool truths popped out at me tonight. God made the Earth with the intention of separating us into time periods and nations. The tower of Babel wasn’t God trying to discipline; it was part of the plan. That’s not even the metaphor I’m most excited to share. 

God separated the people so that we could seek him and feel our way to him. Feel for him? Seeking is usually done with the eyes. I seek for a friend in a crowd by looking, not feeling with my hands, but someone who can’t see with their eyes needs to feel. Therefore, God is saying here that we are blind. How are we blind? Both Paul and John refer to us being blinded by sin in 2 Corinthians 4:4 and John 12:39-40. Before knowing Christ, we can’t see. Only through Christ are the blinders removed.

It just gets cooler though. Here we are, before believing, grasping at anything around us hoping it’s what we desire, even if we don’t know what we desire. We’re blind and can’t see past our own sin, but God is still right there! Verse 27 says he’s not far. He’s there waiting for just the right moment to reveal himself and remove the blinders, but in the meantime he’s still close by. He was there letting us feel his presence and protecting us before we even knew who he was. 

That’s some pretty cool stuff. Do you interpret this passage the same way, or do you see something different?

Posted in Book Review

The Hiding Place

“Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.” 

Corrie ten Boom lived a life devoted to God in spite of her rough and often life-threatening situations. In her book, The Hiding Place, she tells the story of opening her home to Jews needing a place to hide. After being caught and arrested, she describes the horrors of jail then prison then prison camp. At times the prison camp closely resembled the concentration camps. Through all of the insecurity, pain, and misery, her faith in God rings loud and clear. Just as she said, she allowed God to work in her life, and he prepared her for every step, even at times protecting her supernaturally.

“There are no ifs in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety.”

Her story left me speechless in ways. She continually trusted that God would provide despite all around her signs of failure. She did his work until she died. I’m not currently in a place where I am in pain or in need of anything, but I still want to be in God’s will. It’s only there that I can work and rest in peace.

“But even kalte kost (bread ration alone) would be a small price to pay… for the precious books I clutched between my hands.”

Finally, Ms. ten Boom’s devotion to God is the most admirable thing about her. In this instance, she’s risking losing food in order to keep her copy of the Bible. Later she risks losing her life to smuggle a Bible into the prison camp. It makes me ponder how I would react if I was told I couldn’t own a Bible anymore. 

I’d highly recommend everyone to read this story.

story.

Posted in Bible Study, Devotion

Idols are more than golden calves

“Anything I put before my God is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol.” 

These words come from Jimmy Needham’s song “Clear the Stage”, and they’ve made me address some of the idols in my life. No, I’m not building a golden statue, but in my mind certain ideas take up more head space than my thoughts of God. Those gradually become idols in my life. It’s not a conscious decision, but that’s how Satan works. He stealthily slips in a thought here and an image there until it consumes my thoughts. 

“Take a break from all the plans that you had made and sit at home and wait for God to whisper… Shine the light on every corner of your life until the pride and lust and lies are in the open.”

That’s what I did. I spent some time the past few days (thank you for fall break, God!) praying and reading the Bible. Every passage I’ve read lately has either revealed a dark part of my heart or given me strength and hope of destroying the darkness. Those are God’s whispers. 

“Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken.”

Here is some of what I came up with.

“Think on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, of excellence, and worthy of praise” Phil 4:8

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

When these thoughts begin to take up too much space, I’ll look to God instead. I’ll ask for strength, and I’ll praise him. 

“We can sing all we want to. Worship is more than a song.”

To listen to the full song, follow this link.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. You’re awesome for supporting me.

Posted in Bible Study, Blogging for Books, Book Review

God Loves

I don’t have much, if any, experience in the romantic love department, so I’ve often just skimmed over Song of Songs as I’ve read the Bible. Dee Brestin’s He Calls You  Beautiful helped bring out the metaphor of the book. It’s not just a physical romance between a man and a woman; it’s the image of us as the dark-skinned scorned woman being wooed and falling in love with our King, God. Here are some truths I derived from reading this book.

  • God desires to have a relationship with each of us in spite of our sin.
  • Our eyes are to be like dove’s eyes: focused forward, avoiding distraction.
  • Just like in a marriage, God asks us to love him in sickness and in health. God never gets sick, but it may feel at times as if he’s not present or a little crazy. We still love him.
  • Just like the groom leaves the bride after she refuses to leave her mother and marry him, sometimes God leaves us to the consequences of our sins. Just like the groom though, God comes back to call us to him again.
  • In the bigger context, the bride in Solomon’s story represents the day when Jesus’ followers will be reunited. In her name you can literally find peace and in many instances she represents the new Jerusalem. You’ll have to read the book to get a better understanding of this metaphor.
  • At times my faith may become lukewarm, but just like the lover in the poem, God will stand at the door of my heart and knock until I open back up to him. Similarly he also leaves us with his word just as the groom left myrrh in the door to remind us of his love and push us to run back to him.

Though my earthly heart longs for marriage so much that it hurts at times, I am thankful that this book reminded me of my position as a bride of Christ. He has wooed me, chosen me, and continues to express his love for me. Someday we’ll be joined together for eternity in heaven, and it will be more sweet than any earthly marriage. For now I’ll keep preparing myself to meet my King, and maybe an earthly husband will be in God’s will as well.

Many waters cannot quench love, nor floods drown it. (Song 8:7)

I received this book from Blogging for Books.

Posted in Class, Education

Kicking it today

I’m not a sports-minded person, but when I was in high school math, almost every Friday was football Friday where our math teacher drew a football field on the board and we played math football. I still don’t enjoy or completely understand football, but I learned a few rules and more math. For that reason, playing a variation of math football, disguised as ACT soccer, seemed logical. (Note of honesty: I still had to do quite a bit of googling to ensure I got terms and aspects of the game correct.)

So how’d it work? The class split in half and each person got a number. Each team got fifteen minutes to “warm up”, or answer as many questions from the packet as they could ensuring every person knew the answer. After a coin toss, a player was called and a question chosen at random. The player answered the question. Each team worked to get the ball to the opposing team’s goal. Once they reached the defender position, the player had the choice to pass the ball to the goalie box or kick a goal shot. If he answered the question correctly, the team got a goal. If incorrect, the ball went back to the middle and the other team got the next question.

The game was successful, albeit loud enough that the class next door heard. The kids got just as excited when they shot a goal as when they kick a goal in the real game. In the future I might tweak the rules about kicking a goal somehow to make it easier to get a goal. The kids did point out that in real soccer they can make a goal from farther up the field. In 30 minutes of play, no one scored. Thankfully I had enough cookies for everyone.

Posted in Devotion, Life

I know where my strength comes from

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

This week feels crazy busy, but I still feel calm and in control. I praise God because I that if I wasn’t relying on him I would be losing it emotionally. I’ll just keep trusting him to provide the energy, joy, and patience that I need to accomplish everything that must be accomplished, and I’ll trust he’ll give me the wisdom about when to say no. Finally I know if I keep my focus on him and his work, all will be good in his time.