Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snow break

I love snow, I like the way it makes everything look so forgiven. Tomorrow we are planning to go the mountains. They are all covered with snow... today Raphael's family came and we had a pick-nick at the beach where we had a great view of the mountains... :) All this to say that I will be gone for a little time, and to let you know that I will be praying for you as I also plan to do a little spiritual retreat. If there is something I really enjoy doing is spending time in prayer for friends, family, just anyone that comes to mind. I hope you have a blessed weekend/week and I hope to share some new pictures soon.

Blessings

Monday, January 21, 2008

Images de France

I haven't been posting any pictures lately so I thought I would share a few pictures I took last year during a trip to Paris. We took our time (2 days) and enjoyed the good weather and so many beautiful places. To me it's a blessing to live in such a beautiful country. Hope you enjoy them!

Sisteron


Castellanne (Notice the building on top of the rock!)


A bit before Grenoble


St.Pierre-de-Chartreuse


St.Pierre-de-Chartreuse


St.Pierre-de-Chartreuse


Vercors


Vaise de Loup


Champs de Lavande en Provence

"...for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." I Cor 11:26

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Just one more night with the frogs"

Last night Raphael and I were going through Exodus 8... which is when the second plague was just about to befall Egypt. Perhaps you have seen the movie/cartoon "Prince of Egypt". It's a nice cartoon, I have seen it quite a few times, but it's not really really accurate as far as the story goes... at least you have Moses, Pharaoh, the magicians who, by the way, had very impressive dance moves in the movie... the children of Israel, the plagues and the parting and crossing of the red sea. Anyway... so I just wanted to share a bit about something that I was reminded of as he was reading the verses...

Let's go to the part where God is telling Moses what to say to Pharaoh...

"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt." Exodus 8:2-7

...wait a minute... back up... what was that? "And the magicians did so with their enchantments"..??? o_0 The frog plague was the second one of the plagues... the first one was about turning water into blood... which Pharaoh's magicians also did with their enchantments... the idea I suppose is to say that their gods could do the same as Moses' God, and as long as they could do the same thing Pharaoh was not going to listen to them... but isn't it actually a foolish thing to do. It's like someone giving you a black eye, and you say "Oh yea? Well, I can do that too!" and you punch yourself in the eye! Sorry for the not so lady like example...I hang out with a guy every day. So, there are frogs everywhere, in the river, on the streets, in your house, in your bed, in your food, and if you accidentally open your mouth while sleeping they would probably jump in too...if that isn't bad enough Pharaoh's magicians go and make even more frogs. Way to go guys. Anyway, that was just a little dumb magician moment, but this is the sad part.

"Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said, To morrow..." Exodus 8:8-10



Frogs were one of the animal-gods the Egyptians had. I don't know much about this god, I'm sure you can find out more about it... but it kind of makes me think of one of my last posts about stolen gods... gods that can be anything we put before the Lord, and sometimes these gods can be more of a curse to us. What I find sad is how when Moses comes and asks Pharaoh "Great, when do you want to get rid of these frogs, I can ask the Lord and He will destroy them!" And Pharao says "Tomorrow"... We were wondering about why he says this... it could have been his pride... I don't think it was procrastination in this case as I'm sure the frogs were driving everyone crazy... but no, Pharaoh spoke, and he decided that tomorrow would be the day. I have heard teachers in the past explain that the frogs could be seen as sins in our lives... and how many times don't we say Tomorrow to God. "Tomorrow I will stop doing drugs.", "Tomorrow I will stop seeing this person I shouldn't be with.", "Tomorrow I will stop beating my wife.", "Tomorrow I will stop lying.", "Tomorrow I will think about God.", "Tomorrow I will be a better sister.", "Tomorrow I will change my ways.", "Tomorrow my friend could be too late...."

Unfortunately I know people and I myself have been in situations when I have preferred spending one more night with the frogs instead of coming to God. Sometimes because I wanted to maybe gain time and figure another way to have it my way... Sometimes it can be as simple as knowing that you have to forgive that person that hurt you, but no, not today, not tonight... tonight you want to sink in the mud with the frogs croaking about all the bad things this person has done to you, or whatever the issue is.

What's kind of interesting, and this is just my observation so I could be wrong, but it seems to me that God also played Pharaoh's game... the other plagues that followed were announced to happen "Tomorrow" ... as in each time Moses would tell Pharaoh that unless he let the people go a plague would come "Tomorrow".

"People say, eat and drink for tomorrow we die"...but what else does the Bible say about tomorrow?

"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." James 4:13-15


People plan what they will do today, and tomorrow and in a month and in a year... some have very impressive agendas. It's not bad to plan, but know that our lives are really like vapour, we apprear for a little time and then vanish. Not long ago we lost a dear brother at the church. A young student who had his whole life in front of him... A cousin of mine was in a car accident not long ago and as a result two young girls lost their lives. Even some old person could tell you that life goes by much faster than you really think. So, what's the point? Live your lives to the fullest, but live it unto God... honour Him with your life, give it to Him and He will bless you eternally. When should you do that? ;)...

"For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day." Exodus 32:29

Today is the day...

Moses was willing to make things right between Pharaoh and God... my husband pointed out to me last night that today we have Jesus to intercede for us. Sin, the frogs in our lives are what are keeping us from walking in purity with the Lord. Jesus, if you will, is here to make things right, He will wash us from all the sin in our lives. Confess your sins to the Lord, let's come clean... We can come to Him.... when? ;) Glad you asked!

"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." II Cor 6:2


Let's not be stuborn like Pharaoh... I know I can not sleep in peace when I have frogs in my head... my peace comes from coming to God and asking Him to take them away... Today.

I really say all this from my heart, and with love... I know dear people to me that struggle with drugs/false gods or other frogs that don't let them sleep... and yet they cry, "Just one more night, just one more day." We can't do it alone... but God is here, He can break the chains now, this day...

Peace

Friday, January 11, 2008

Three things... it's a long one, I warn you...

"Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."
- I Corinthians 10:29-33

I love this chapter, I don't fully understand it all, but I have been going through it and I have been listening to some studies on it and it's been a great blessing. There are three things here that have stood out to me as I have been studying and listening to studies. It's the parts that I have bolded out, I hope that doesn't offend anyone. (Is bolded a word?)

"For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?"
Good question... but what jumps out to me is the "for which I give thanks"... do I give thanks for all things? We give thanks before we eat... but can I watch a movie tonight and sit there all nice and cosy and say "Thank you Lord for this movie! I'm so happy to be watching this now!" Can I listen to my music and say "Thank you Lord for this music, it's a blessing!"? If I can't give thanks and praise the Lord for a movie... then I probably shouldn't be watching it. When my husband and I were colouring some days ago, I was so happy I would pray and thank the Lord in my heart. We weren't doing anything religious... or spiritual, but I could thank the Lord for it. Now... there are things that we cannot thank God for very easily, things we have to deal with that are not a choice. How do you thank God for a coworker that really gets on your nerves everyday, or... a little beat up car that never wants to start, or you are living in a city, country that you really don't like... you can pray that the Lord would change your heart about it, start thanking the Lord for that person you can't stand and you will see that as you pray for them your heart will begin to change towards them.... maybe not right away, but it will in time, through prayer ;) Thank the Lord for the little beat up car or the almost junk computer you have... at least you have one, and if it's better to get rid of it, then thank the Lord that you can do without... haha. But thank him, it will bless you. Now... what about illness, what if somebody you trusted really did you wrong, what about the death of a dear one... if you believe that God is love, that He is just, that He is all knowing, you can thank Him too... because by faith you can believe in this loving God, just and all knowing that keeps His promises. And when He promises that He will hold you up, that He will work whatever it is for the best of those who love Him... He will do it! Just like Jacob you could be crying "All these things are against me", but be of good cheer, the Lord will see you through. Ask people to pray for you, with you, seek the Lord in all things. When Jacob cried this he didn't know that what would come would be so much more, so much better than he had ever imagined. If you are thinking "Who's Jacob?" I'm talking about the Jacob in the book of Genesis... in the Bible... worth a read. I give thanks to God as I type this post.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God"
When you wash your dishes tonight, do it to the glory of God... why glorify God while washing dishes? I guess because that might be what He will call you to do tonight, which then must be very important, and we are told to do all to the glory of God. Not to get into home-keeping... but God is organized... In creation you see that things are done in an orderly way. The sun comes up, the sun goes down... winter, spring, summer, autumn...always the same, year after year. Is it boring?... no, it's beautiful. Even the cloth that was used on Jesus at his burial, was found folded at the tomb after his resurrection. Pretty cool eh? (john 20:7) But again, do all to the glory God, all that you do. I used to think that I could only glorify God at church, or while I was doing "good" things... but now I know that I can glorify God by doing that which I should do each day... I know He cares for the little details in my life, and in yours too... so now I can mop for Him if you will, and I'm sure it pleases Him because I chose to bring glory to Him in doing so... yes, it takes faith ;) I hope to bring glory to Him as I type this post.

"Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."

I think this is also very important. I know what it's like to be around people that always want to have things their way, and it can be very tiring to try to please them, but "that they may be saved." is the part I try to remember. Within the body of Christ there are Christians that drink wine (I have never seen any of them ever get drunk), and there are those who believe that drinking any kind of alcohol is sinful... if you are a Christian that drinks wine, don't offer it to one that considers it a sin. You can offend them by it, or even worse, they might take it to not offend you and if they get drunk because they are not used to drinking then you will really be in trouble because you have caused them to sin. I haven't been in such a situation before, but I'm just saying. - If you are invited to a church where you know that women cover their heads, and only wear long skirts or dresses, don't go with shorts... or pants... not you Doug. "Oh, but I am free to do as I want in Christ... and if they don't like it, it's their problem..." I don't think that this is the attitude we should have. In love, I think we should try to not offend but please especially those whom we call our family in Christ. Yes we have freedom, freedom to judge for ourselves as to what would be a better choice, more pleasing to the Lord. A slave does that which the master commands, but a free-slave who loves his master can chose to follow his masters commandments. Now, if we have certain convictions that we believe are better, more noble, of higher standards than others... may the Lord keep us from judging those others, because only God knows their hearts, and perhaps that which we find lamentable is something that they are thankful and praise God for. Maybe you believe women should stay at home and not work outside the home... and you see a sister coming out of her office job... she has kids too... how easy it can be for some to comment, even out loud, on what a bad mother she must be... you see her, you wave at her with a smile, she smiles back, goes home, and maybe you have just judged her on something she by grace gives thanks to God for. Is she right? Is she doing the right thing.... maybe not, and if you believe she is not, then love her. Show her the way through your love... and not your condemnations. Encourage them to seek the Lord in all things, and read His Word. Trust that God loves them just as much as He loves you, and that He will lead them. I have at times changed the way I do things because of others... not because they have told me to be like them, but because I see their love, their families and I think... "hey, I would like that too!" I hope I offended none with my post, but do let me know if I did so I know I did...

These are just my thoughts now as I have gone through these verses. I know I don't know everything and I don't do things right many many times, so don't take my word for it, find out for yourselves... I have put some links on the side of teachers or places that I think can be helpful in case you want to know more. I also have some blog friends that are great examples to me. If you have a Bible I encourage you to read it... I know it can be scary, it's a big book, maybe you think it's confusing, or boring, maybe you have heard it is a book you should keep away from, or there is this "je ne sais quoi" that just keeps you from reading it... but it is a treasure, I promise you that. The best way to find out is by reading it.

Oh... and before I go... just the cutest of pictures... maybe you have seen it already... it makes me think of a good Shepherd I know. He knows what to do when little lambs like this one get lost.

Lambo

God bless...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Psalm 1

Psalm 1

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


....thought is was a great psalm to start the year =)

Happy New Year!

Just felt like I should write something short today. I would like to wish everyone that happens to stop here a Happy New Year. In the past I always had New Years Resolutions... one year I decided not to eat chocolate for the whole year and I almost did! I only had chocolate twice that year, once because someone offered me an ice-cream in the theater... if was dark and I couldn't tell that there were chocolate sprinkles on my vanilla ice-cream... and the second time was when I was visiting a nice old lady that offered me a piece of a chocolate cake she had just baked... I have this rule that I eat whatever is offered to me, especially when it's offered by nice old ladies... and must add very thankfully that since in France no one has offered 'frog legs' or escargot (fancy name for snails) to me yet. It wasn't easy to not eat chocolates as I LOVE chocolates, but I was committed to follow through and I did. I was proud to be good at not eating chocolate simply because I decided that I was not going to...(I know I shouldn't be proud but I admit I was quite impressed with myself...sorry)

I wish I could say, "This New Year, I will rejoice everyday for the Lord is good, I will not bow down to strange gods, I will stand firm in my faith, I will share the gospel with boldness, I will not make the same mistakes I tend to make, I will keep my mind from thinking bad thoughts, and my tongue from saying hurtful things." I say I 'wish' I could say that because just by thinking it I know I have failed already. Yet, I know the Lord doesn't give up on us, He is still encouraging us to finish this race we stated. When I fall, He's right there to help me up and keep walking. I don't have a New Years Resolution, but I do have two things that I would like to keep in mind...

First, I have been following the Lord for some time now but kind of like a fly can follow a cow. I have been there, I have seen Him do things and heard His voice, my life has been changed because of Him, but now I want more... I want to walk like him... use my hands like He used His hands, see people the way He saw people, love the way He showed us how to love... I almost have this picture of a child not only following his dad, but also trying on His shoes. As I picture Jesus walking on water... I can see myself following Him on a little boat, but I am now in a place where I want to get out of the boat and walk with Him. I want to say, Lord if it's You ask me to come to you.

Second thing... as I study and meet many people I realize that things can get a bit confusing and messy at times. A lot of people like to own the truth and wave it like a flag, and when you see many flags of truth waving you can get confused and may not know where to turn... but there is good news. As a friend said the other day... God knew people could get confused trying to figure out what truth was, so He came Himself and said "I am the way, the truth, and the life". That's good news. :) If you want to know the way... follow Him, if you want to know the truth... listen to Him, if you want to have life... give your life to Him... the little life that we try to grasp and hold on to could be gone just like that... it's so much better to put it all in God's loving hands, He loves us more than we can even imagine. So, I want to remember this whenever I get to a point where I don't know where to turn... I'll remember Jesus words and will know to follow Him, and I'll be in His truth, on the way and have a life.

These are my two thoughts as I start this new year... but I know that I could keep them for years to come. I'm so thankful for all He has done in my life this last year, I can only look forward to knowing Him more and more, and longing for His return.


"And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus." - Matthew 14:26-29