Thursday, August 28, 2008

Drinking Pond Water

...My family has the excellent intention of walking every morning. I say "intention" because it doesn't always happen. We walk to a park nearly a mile and a half away from our house, play for a few minutes, and walk back. If we get out early enough its still cool when we are walking back, but regardless of the temperature everyone wants water. ...Water is a basic need of life. Who has not felt the intense satisfaction which comes with a cool drink slipping down their throat after a hot run? Similarly Jesus Christ is our fountain of living water, he who drinks of that well will never be spiritually thirsty. But what happens when we sample other wells? What happens when we drink from fountains polluted with the worlds filth, and how do we keep our water clean? Here is a humorous little story to illustrate. ...A couple weeks ago my family was actually up in time to go on our early morning walk. This time I was not to accompany them, and later had reason to be thankful for it. I watched as Mother and the five youngest donned their shoes, gathered their things (ie... snacks...), and headed out the door. Five minutes later my eleven year old brother Daniel burst back in. "What's the matter?" I called after him as he ran by me to the kitchen. "We forgot water, and now I can't find the jug to bring it in!" he called back. More siblings trickled through the front door, no one was going anywhere without water. So I got up and helped search for the lost jug. ...Eventually the jug was found in the car, but by this time the Texas sun had rose high in the sky and Mother was impatient to go. Daniel came in carrying the empty jug and was about to go fill it in the kitchen (a slow filter process) when he spied a full distilled water container on the floor. "Wow, what luck" he must have been thinking as he seized it and hurried outside. "Daniel, I'm not sure about that water!" I cried after him. "Its fine" he yelled back reassuringly. The others seemed to think so too and I watched from the window as they poured it into their jug while walking down the street. Things like this happen all the time in large families, so I promptly forgot the whole thing and returned to my Latin exercises. ...That evening the family gathered for devotions. Father was reading aloud when a noise outside made him pause. Breathlessly, we listened. Jay went outside to check on our fish pond and came running back in half a minute, "The water is drained and the fish are dying!" Instantly the room burst into action as each person ran to the rescue. Father was rummaging through his things, crawling around on all fours near the front door, and finally cried "Where is that jug of distilled water I had by the front door?" We all paused, you could have heard a pin drop as one awful thought entered each of our heads at the same second. " Why do you need it dear?" my Mother asked a bit hesitatingly. "It has fish pond water in it for emergency's like this" Dad said. (To see why you need fish pond water not regular water for pond emergency's click here...) ...The dying fish were forgotten for a moment and I saw several faces become green. "I think I'm going to be sick" a couple kids said racing for the one downstairs bathroom. Even my Mom looked ill, she sat down and mopped her forehead. "What's the matter?" Father exclaimed, still worried about the fish. We explained the aweful truth. ... Fortunately for the fish my Dad had another stash of pond water for emergency's somewhere else. Later that evening we gathered once more for devotions, and got all the facts straight. It turns out that very little of the pond water had been swallowed by my unfortunate family members. After a few sips someone had decided it tasted "funny" and the water was discarded. But the thought of the little that had been digested was enough to make everyone pretty ill. ...We learned several valuable lessons. One, never use distilled water when the seal is broken. Two, make sure the water jug is found well before the walk begins. And thirdly, if it is important for our physical bodies to drink pure water - what about our souls? ...There is only one source of pure water spiritually, Jesus Christ. Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14 ..If it is revolting to think of drinking water from a little 2X3 ft. pond, inhabited by ten fish; why should it be any less disgusting to us as Christians when we sip from the worlds muddy pond spiritually? Maybe your only sampling a partially polluted stream, the water's only a little green. Maybe it's even a fellow Christians writings, music or idea that has compromised the pure gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Does this make it any better for your spiritual growth? The worlds water grows weeds, chaff which will burn when the harvest comes. But the fountain of Jesus Christ will grow trees which bear fruit for eternity. ...Let us turn from every source of spiritual pollution. Questionable books, immoral movies, ungodly friends, immodest clothing, unhealthy music...the list goes on and on. In a world so full of pond scum it is easy to despair - how do you know what is good to drink? Relax, there is an answer. God has given us two safeguards, two sure companions and guides to keep us spiritually healthy. The Holy Spirit and His Word. ...When in doubt, pray and read. He will make the answer clear in time. Often when you feel unsure about something it is the Holy Spirit saying "Don't drink that!" or "Spit it out!" It is always better to be safe than sorry. don't drink from a well just because the water arrives in a familiar cup. Test it, be sure it is the pure water of Jesus Christ. ...Lauren Ashley

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Blog Deco

...I have been making more pictures for public use :) And here they are! Actually, I am trying to focus on some Scripture themed ones so that will probably be allot of what you see in the future. If anyone has a picture of a bow being drawn (preferably a longbow) I would love to use it! I have searched all over for a good picture of a bow to go with one of my favorite verses and so far have had little luck. (I really do not want to use a clunky modern looking compound) Thanks in advance! Lauren Ashley

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blog Deco

...Some of you may have noticed and some of you may not have; I love editing pictures! Because of this I have started a line of Awards for Blogs... feel free to use these pictures and award them to others! Be on the lookout for more later, and feel free to leave suggestions if you think of new ideas. Lauren Ashley

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Lovely Weekend!!!

...Our friends the Martinez came to visit over the weekend and we had a great time! Now I am back onto the blogging world with more memories, a replenished pile of embarrassing moments (mine and others), and some new pictures. ... First we went to the park on Saturday and watched our brothers play baseball. Not necessarily the most exciting event for us watchers, but it looked like they were having fun. That night we girls watched "North and South", by Elisabeth Gaskell. On Sunday we visited a church together and afterwards spent the evening engaged in a stimulating discussion. (I am sure it will be followed up in the future:) Monday the roller coaster junkies (and a few who were not sure yet) went to Six Flags. My best friend Johanna and I stayed home and read a book I had written for her last April. Then Tuesday we played a few final games of "catch phrase" and "Mafia" as well as watching a video recording of Johanna's visit to us in WA, before they had to get on the road. ...All together it was a delightful visit! We hope to return it in November, maybe around Thanksgiving Lord willing.......

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Short Vacation

...This is just a quick post to inform everyone that I will be taking a couple days off from the blogging world! Some good friends are coming to visit over the weekend and I will be giving them my full attention! I will probably be writing again around the 21st of this month? Lauren Ashley

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Co - Partnering Pain

"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:14-17 ...Have you ever felt so alone, so abandoned that life lost its purpose? Have the days ever took on a grey lifeless tone from which you wanted to escape? If you've experienced this take hope, do not despair. ...We are not left to flounder on our own, nor are we abandoned. We have a Great High Priest who sympathizes with us because He knows what it is to be tried; and yet has not sinned. He was abandoned, shunned by God so that we will never be alone. Our Co- Partner in pain is our victory, He has gone before - lived, died and rose again - that we might partake of Him and be saved. ...The cross is more but not less than a symbol of our salvation. It is our boast and the life we now live in Christ. Whether in need or plenty, weakness or strength, if we are at the center of God's Will for our life then we have purpose; life has meaning and hope. We have died with Christ, let us now live in Christ as well. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 ...Do your trials seem hard? Is your heart laden with worry, your body afflicted with pain? Accept your cross with joy as Christ did and run the race on His strength. Carry your burdens to Jesus, lay them at His feet. Then watch them fade away, not from life but your heart and mind. Soon you will find that there's a joy so sweet, a communion so divine, only to be found where suffering and Gods Sovereignty meet. "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-3 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:28-29

...Test your faith where the rubber meets the road, when the goings rough and the path steep. Its easy to trust when everything seems smooth; but I've learned to treasure life's potholes. Pain can become a lens through which our eyesight is strengthened; Its in moments when the pains most intense that I have felt closest to God. And when the suffering has passed, when joy comes in the morning, then God's children rejoice in their deliverance. A greater, deeper love springs forth for those who have never known what it meant to be delivered; and we have the assurance of being heirs with Christ for all eternity.

"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." Romans 8:15-17

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here is another story from the Voice of the Martyrs, I found it humorous and touching. Enjoy!

Bill and John were near the docks in southern England when they saw the Romanian flag hanging from the stern of a ship. It was during the years of Romania’s hard-line Communist rule.

With little conversation, they recognized the mission field before them, untied their cases of Bibles and went aboard. They stepped into the mess room where the ship’s entire thirty-five-man company was gathered. Bill and John explained why they had come and began to pull out the Romanian Bibles. The crew immediately gave the two their undivided attention. Most of them had never before heard about God and his Son, Jesus. When Bill and John discovered that they didn’t have enough Romanian Bibles, two burly seamen grabbed Bill by the arms and gently but firmly sat him in a chair. They explained apologetically in broken English that Bill would stay there until John came back with Bibles for all of them. A hostage for Bibles—John didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but it was the only way the Romanians could make sure that John would return. In a Communist country full of broken promises, they didn’t trust anyone. John rushed to the office and packed his case full of Romanian Bibles. Within an hour, he was back in the mess room, where the crew gratefully received the Bibles and released their “hostage.”

Get the word out. That’s what Jesus said to do about his gospel message. However we can, wherever we go, whatever we do, we must be about the business of spreading the word about Christ. Our commitment may take us to the docks or simply to the breakfast table of our unbelieving neighbors next door. Either way, we must be prepared to share God’s Word with those who are spiritually perishing. Are you driven to get the word out about Christ? Are you conscious of the limited time you may have to complete your mission? Don’t waste another moment, thinking someone else will do your part. What can you do today to spread the Good News?

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