but to simply wait


I’m sure you’ve heard that God doesn’t work by our time schedule, but by His.  We’ve been told this for years, ever since we can remember by parents, leaders, pastors, friends.  It’s true.  God works by His perfect, infallible timing.  He knows better than we do and He comes through every time.  There are countless testimonies and Bible verses affirming this.

But what about when you’re waiting?  Not when you’re panicking about if something will happen in time, but when God seems to be on hold; when it seems like He’s taking a break.  When the God-to-you line appears disconnected no matter how much praying you do.  What then?  You were so certain you’d see good results, but you don’t.  Actually, any results would be good, but there simply aren’t any.

It’s during these seasons of waiting that God teaches us.  God teaches us and strengthens our faith through trials, yes, but also through those times when nothing seems to be happening.  Will I still put my trust in Him when He seems to be gone?

When we get impatient waiting for God to act, it’s a good reminder to “be still and know that [he is] God.”  Too often we try to fix things ourselves or get impatient and try to speed up the results.  But everything will work perfectly in His timing for our betterment—even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

(Psalm 27:14)

In those times of waiting, we are commanded to simply wait for God.  Our job is to trust Him and He will be faithful.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?  Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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 40:27 – 31)

God is there, whether we can see Him or not.  He will never leave us or forget about us.  If we trust Him, He will always be with us and will work all things together for us because we love Him.

Will you trust Him now, even as you’re waiting?

years to treasure


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about teenagers. I go to school and see so many teens wasting their time, it seems, heartbroken over a lost “love,” coming up with ways to get back at those who hurt them, trying to keep up their marks and all the while working to afford post-secondary education…and their iphones.

I look around, and I don’t see teens going that deep; focusing on what really matters. Girls are too obsessed trying to get guys’ attention but be secure in who they are, while guys are too obsessed with x-box. COD. Halo. Whatever.

It’s sad, really.

Have you ever thought what it’ll feel like to be thirty years old and look back on your teen years and go, “Wow. I did nothing…I wish I had done so much more while I had the chance. Before life got really crazy. Before I had 50 million responsibilities”? Not many people have. I’m not saying you should take a step back and know you’ll live to regret your life; I’m saying that you should use these years to your advantage.

I often say to my mom, “Teenage years are often harder than a lot of adults think.” What I mean is this: sure, the problems of the average youth may seem trivial to adults since they’ve already gone through them and faced bigger things, but it’s when you’re trying to get into college/university, trying to decide what to do with your life, getting your first part-time job, getting your driver’s license, and all the while juggling sports and social life…it’s a time full of firsts. And probably one of the biggest periods of “firsts” in your life.

This stage of your life will make you what you are as an adult. It’s when you shape and mold your character. It’s when you choose your friends. When you seriously begin to follow God with an adult-like faith (no longer a child-like faith).

I see the teen years as a prime time to serve God in big ways. God sets before us tons of opportunities to give glory to Him. Often, though we don’t recognize them. We sit back and go to youth, church, maybe join a small-group Bible study. But when it comes down to practical things, we don’t do much.

Although the teen years are busy, they are critical for serving God. They are the years which make you into the adult you will one day be. It’s so important to spend these years closely following God. Reading the Bible, becoming involved in youth activities at church, and focusing on God instead of the latest celebrity magazines are all ways to deepen your relationship with Him.

Ask God to use you to do big things for Him. He may not give you much at first, but as you honor Him with little things, He will give you bigger and bigger things for you to do for Him.

But above all, everything (everything) must be for His glory. Never for your own glory. Don’t go on a missions trip so others will see what a good Christian you are, etc. Ask yourself: if I was the only person on this earth and God was in heaven, and no one else saw me do this but God and I, would I still want to do it? This is a good way to check if you’re doing things for His glory or your own.

These years are the time in your life when you’ll have the most time and maybe the most money to do things like go on a missions trip. Don’t waste it on things that won’t matter in two years. Instead, invest your time and energy into things that will last you an eternity. Things you can stand in front of God for one day and say, “I took this time on earth You gave me and used it for Your glory, not my ‘down time.’ ”

Glorify Him always, and He will bless you and keep you and you will be rewarded.

bucket list update


 

Although I’ve posted about bucket lists before, I only had 14 so far. Until like three days ago. Now I have 41. (The 4 and 1 just got switched around! cool.)

So I thought I’d give an Emily’s bucket list update.

my bucket list.

1. learn Dutch

2. visit Holland

3. go to the East Coast

4. make a quilt

5. visit St. Jacob’s

6. gallop bareback down moonlit beach

7. live on a farm 😉

8. go to Bible college

9. learn how to surf

10. swim in clear blue ocean

11. own a vintage Schwinn bike

12. get driver’s license

13. own a poodle skirt

14. climb a silo

15. make a sock monkey

16. experience a real snowday

17. learn French

18. learn Spanish

19. read through whole Bible

20. read To Kill a Mockingbird

21. go backpacking (camping)

22. pull an all-nighter

23. see abortion made illegal in Canada

24. get 90% average (1 semester)

25. visit New York City

26. go on a cruise

27. fly in an airplane

28. get a pedicure

29. hug a llama ^_^

30. go to Reid’s Dairy with Bailey (my wonderful friend 🙂 )

31. ride in a Volkswagon Bug

32. go to a Mandarin restaurant

33. watch Courageous

34. go to South America

35. eat a leek

36. learn how to play guitar

37. get my grade 8 piano

38. get baptized

39. read Mere Christianity

40. go on a road trip!

41.go to drive-in movie theatre

january in a bubble


I haven’t posted since…well, my last post, I guess. And I need to. So I’m just chillin’ today (after school) and don’t have much homework (someone circle the calendar)…

So my month — and year so far — in a bubble.

Well, a post.

I just like the sound of bubble.

New Year’s Eve. We had a bunch of families from church over, played Apples to Apples, manhunt in the dark at a local park, and ate oliebollen. For those of you who don’t know what oliebollen is, it’s Dutch heaven-in-your-mouth.

Then it was back to school…

The first week of school I had a ridiculous amount of work. I wouldn’t live through it again if you paid me $200.

As I mentioned before, I did some work on my quilt. To date I have 6 squares done. 19 to go.

My companion during homework…

And so, as exams approach and I prepare say good-bye to French, World Religions, Foods and Biology forever (…at least until next semester), my stress level goes from 2 to 300 000, and I try to maintain a fragment of sanity for the sake of, well, me, I know God has great things in store for me in the remaining 11 months of 2012. Which, by the way, is going well. (: So on my list of things to do this year…finish quilt, get through exams alive and with an 85% + average, grow in Christ, and sing the llama song in front of my school. …well, maybe just my class. I don’t really have a burning desire to sing the llama song in front of 1 600 + kids. 30 will do.

I hope you have had/will have a wonderful January 2012!

 

fourteen hours, tim horton’s, and family


This weekend, my family and I drove seven hours away to my grandparents’ house for a Christmas gathering, which consisted of food, presents, and Settlers of Catan. LOVE.

Three of my four uncles are farmers, and when we visited one of them I was in photographer’s heaven. They run a produce farm with a lot of acreage, a big red barn and a very country-ified house — which they built themselves: white with green trimming. Just so…country.

Watching the littlers opening presents was fun; train sets and mega blocks galore. 🙂

Lift Me Up by the Afters = ♥ x 1 000 000 000 000

We were sad to leave but glad to go back home and devour all the chocolate letters we received (so far I’ve eaten 3 E’s).

It rained almost the entire time home. 😦

Thank goodness for chocolate to cheer me up…well, my mom’s chocolate which she gave to me as a result of my begging to cheer me up. 🙂

My little sister coloured and read the whole way home (GO DOG, GO!). She also sang Happy Birthday to every person she could think of. Thank goodness for headphones. Okay, it was pretty cute. 🙂

Sad it’s all finished, but I can’t wait until next year!

Now for New Year’s Eve…

double agents: the secret life of a Christian


More and more I’ve noticed how Christians act. One thing that has struck me is how Christians often live double lives.

What I mean by this is how Christians often tend to act one way at church at act another way at work or school.

When I became a Christian (when I was little!) I basically became a Christian because I wanted to go to Heaven, and I knew I had to accept Jesus into my heart in order to do so. I accepted Jesus into my heart twice (I didn’t think I was serious the first time). I struggled with doing devotions on a regular basis because I didn’t want to do them.

Despite my salvation in Jesus, I didn’t become a Christian until this year.

“Hold on. If you’ve accepted Jesus into your heart and made Him your Savior, you’re a Christian. So why weren’t you a Christian until several years after you asked Him into your heart?!”

When I became a Christian, I understood God’s end of it. I’m a sinner, so I can never go to Heaven ’cause it’s perfect and so is God. God sent His Son Jesus to Earth to die for us (John 3:16!) so that we can go to Heaven with Him when we die. In return we need to try to do what is right all the time and we learn what’s right through the Bible. When I became a Christian, I did it because it was the right thing to do. Still, I somehow never felt like a true Christian. I always knew something was missing.

But I now realize that being a Christian is so much more! It means literally giving your whole life to God. I have to not just be a good person, but I have to dedicate my whole life to God. And that goes beyond going to church and singing during worship, taking sermon notes and being involved in all the church functions.

That means getting rid of anything in my life that doesn’t give glory to God.

This means a serious self-check. All aspects of your life — music, friends, books, magazines, clothes, activities — need to be checked for Christ-compatibility. If it isn’t for God, weed it out.

I’m not saying that God is completely opposed to every secular piece of music out there. But I think that as Christians, we too often try to get by rather than to be unwilling to compromise. Our idea of doing what’s right it toeing the line instead of fleeing.

Romans 12:9 says,

Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.

*Note: anything that isn’t FOR God is AGAINST God; thus anything that isn’t completely for Him is evil because God is good.

Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

That’s pretty much everything in your life.

Being a Christian isn’t just something you do on Sunday mornings with just your soul. It’s something that shows in every area of your life. Like an elder at my church said, “It’s easy for me to be a Christian on Sunday, in the presence of other believers; but what about the other six days of the week in the workplace or school?

One person’s testimony goes like this:

I was trying to get this kid [who wasn’t a Christian] on my basketball team to come out to church with me one Sunday morning or youth. He never wanted to go, but I kept bugging him. Finally he said to me, “Why would I want to come to church or youth? What’s so special about them? You’re no different than I am; if they’re so good, how come you’re the same as me?” This really hit home for me because I realized that even though I claimed to be a Christian and salt and light, I was really no different in my actions than anyone else at school.

If we are called to be salt and light but act the same as other non-Christians, how will they ever see the Light?

Jesus literally wants us to be different from others. At school, I don’t do anything that other kids do that goes against my faith in Jesus. My friends notice this. I’ve been called “innocent” and “perfect.” I know I’m the farthest from those but I’m happy that my friends notice a difference. I’ve chosen to take their observations as a compliment, because it shows I’m succeeding in being set apart for Christ.

If we can’t follow Jesus with everything in us, we will never be a true Christian. I had to realize this before I felt like a real Christian.

God doesn’t require just your soul, or just your heart, or just your mind, or just your Sundays, or just your Bible reading.

He requires all of you.