Monday, November 24, 2008

"Dreams Are Tawdry"

I have always loved to read. When I was younger some of my favorite books were The Salem Years, The Trailblazer Series, The American Girl books and the Dear America Series. Now I like to collect oddball books at antique and thrift stores and lately I have taken a great interest in reading Christian biographies. 

A month or so ago I finished Shadow of The Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot. This book is absolutely amazing! Many of you already know some of the changes that have taken place in my life because of reading this book. However you may not have the quotes I referenced! If you already know what I've changed and you already have the quotes, I'm sorry, you can just stop reading now and go do something more enjoyable with your life. But for those of you who don't know and are wishing I would get on with it, here is a little tale of how my life changed...

Once upon a time I was taking a trip out to Iowa and as I was riding along in the back seat I pulled out a folder entitled "What to do with my life..." as well as my journal, Bible study, Bible and copy of Shadow of The Almighty. I had a piece of paper in my folder that had a schedule of my most desired life plan for Spring 2009-Spring 2010. Next semester I wanted to live in Florida with Mark and Rosie while doing my internship. In the summer I thought it would be great to go to the Middle East for a couple months while attending Jerusalem University College. Upon arriving back in the States at the end of the summer I would prepare to go to Focus on the Family Institute for the fall semester. Then finally I would come back to Indiana and finish up my degree at Ivy Tech. As I was looking at these plans, I really began to be convicted about them. The conviction did not hit so much on my plans as it did on the core of who I felt I was becoming. 

As many of you know, two years ago I spent a semester in Italy and while there got to go to England, Scotland and Ireland as well. Two summers ago, I spent a month in Malawi, Africa. I've also traveled a lot in the U.S. and this summer I spent about three months working at a camp in Colorado. I have thoroughly enjoyed my travels and the cultures I've been able to experience. While good has come from these travels, I found that I was beginning to have an unhealthy craving for them. I began surrendering these dreams and desires up to God in prayer. 

After time in prayer, Bible study and journaling, I opened Shadow of The Almighty. The title of the chapter I was on was "Dreams are Tawdry". I could not believe how fitting it was for my current situation! Here is the quote that gave the chapter its title; "Dreams are tawdry when compared with the leading of God, and not worthy of the aura of wonder we usually surround them with. God only doeth wonders. He does nothing else. His hand can work nothing less. Praise to the Guiding God of Israel, and that Great Shepherd of the wayward sheep. When He directs a path, no way can seem bleak, no instance dull." Jim Elliot

This chapter has helped me re-surrender my dreams and plans into God's hands and I have no desire to try and reclaim them! I am learning that life truly is more exciting and adventurous when I let go of my plans and let God do the planning. I'm merely the created being, who am I to think that I can dream and plan better than my Creator?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My First Post!

Let's see here, what to write... I have been chomping at the bit to get this blog started and now that I have it, I don't know what to write. Darn. I suppose I could start off explaining why I have even created this blog.

The thought of having a blog has run in and out of my mind a couple of times in the last couple of years, thanks to Nealy suggesting it and thereby starting the chase. When she mentioned it, I thought it sounded interesting but wondered what the heck I would write about. Something that just recently got the blog idea running at a frantic pace in my mind was a point that was made in my Bible study on the life of Moses.

In Exodus 18: 7-12 Moses shared with Jethro, his father-in-law all the things that God had done for the Israelites in leading them out of Egypt. Moses' testimony quite likely led Jethro to a saving knowledge and belief in God. We talked about how important it is as Christians to give testimony not only to how God brought us into a relationship with Him but also to what He is doing in our lives now that we are in a relationship with Him.

If I am truly in a relationship with this great God of the Universe, I'd better have some stories to tell about the adventures I have with Him. I thought a blog would be a great way to share these stories with those I care about but don't get to see or talk to very often.

As you can see, the major inspiration behind this blog is to share what God is doing in my life. My testimonies will take up a great deal of the subject matter but I'm still leaving room to share the useless random oddities of life that give me so much enjoyment.

I think Courtney will especially appreciate my blog because she will be able to tune me out or just shut me off without me grousing at her when she gets tired of my ramblings. You're welcome in advance, Courtney!

Now that you have a brief history of why this blog was created, get zipped up for some excitement!