24 February 2011

Good afternoon...

I almost put "Good Morning" because it just seems that this day, like many others, is flying by!  But that might be part of my thoughts for another day.

Today, I wanted to say hello to anyone out there who might stumble across my blog.  It has been quite a process just to find the right name for my blog.  I know you are probably thinking to yourself...."'Memoirs of Amy' doesn't seem that complicated to me."  And that is a true statement.  It took me a month to finally secure this blog name might be a more accurate statement.  I tried thousands---well in reality, probably only a couple dozen, but it seemed like thousands---of blog names before I found one that someone else had not taken.  I almost put "that someone else was using," but that would have been a bit misleading.  I guess the years from 2000 to 2005 were a big time to start a blog.  I searched many possible blog names, but almost all (except this one, of course) were blogs started in those years and most had only one to two posts TOTAL!!!  Did those people forget that they started a blog?  Did they forget their user name and password so they never posted again?  Or maybe some of them have even passed away...  Whatever the reason for all of those unused blogs, I just wonder...Isn't there some way to get rid of those old blogs that no one is using to free up all those great blog names that I searched???  But, alas, I think the answer to that question is no.  I've heard that once something is out there on the Internet, it is there forever.

You might have noticed that I already had a couple of blog postings before this one in which I introduce myself.  Turns out I have another blog.  I used to sell Stampin' Up! rubber stamps and crafting products.  I started my other blog to share my creative endeavors.  I am no longer a demonstrator for SU! products, but I am still an avid crafter....although my time is limited with 3 teenage girls (which makes me a taxi driver most days!).  So on my stamping blog, I had started to post some of my thoughts from my Bible reading and study.  I got the bright idea to start a second blog with those things on it and save the first blog for crafting stuff.  With this blog finally established, I moved a couple of posts from my other blog.  Now, let's just pray that I do not become one of those statistics that I mentioned earlier who start a blog, post twice and then are seemingly lost forever!!

Now, introductions are in order.  My name is Amy (obviously).  I am married and have 3 teenage daughters (okay, the youngest is days away from 13, so I am rounding up!)  I live in the mountains of Virginia, although I did not grow up here.  I have been a Christian for 11 years.  I am striving to do more Bible reading and study, and I really need to journal my thoughts.  That is part of the reason for this blog, but I am certain I won't put all of my thoughts out here in cyberland for all to read!   I have been trying to keep an actual journal for years, but for the most part that has been random.  I might scour those journals (yes, that is plural on purpose---I started lots of times, therefore lots of journals!) to find tidbits from the past to include here.

I am not sure who if anyone will ever find this and start reading.  But if you are out there reading this...WELCOME!!

My thoughts for today are about 2 Kings 25:9.  I am studying this section from Sunday School this week.  Verse 9 is talking about a man named Nebuzaradan who was a commander under Nebuchadnezzar.  The verse says:

"He burned the Lord's temple, the king's palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses."

The part of this that really struck me was in the study guide.  It said, "To watch the temple disappear in flames likely would have signified to the people of Judah that God's presence had departed."

It makes me wonder, were these people so holy and spiritual that they would have stood around lamenting that "the presence of the Lord has departed from us."  Or maybe they would have been more like most of us.  We would see the beautiful, historic building burning, and although we are saddened by the loss of it, most of us have forgotten the significance of that old building in the first place.  It might seem a sad statement on society these days, but I somehow think that people are people....always have been, always will be.  Maybe it wasn't until later, in retrospect, that people came to realize the signifance of what they witnessed.  Maybe the realities of what had taken place came to them bit by bit.  I'm not sure.  I just hope that they are more like me, I guess.  I do pray however that my spiritual eyes will be opened to at last see glimpses of God in the daily events surrounding me.  And maybe sometimes I will be able to grasp the major signifance of an event!

Have a blessed day wherever you are!!

17 February 2011

Psalm 119:105

I was coming in from picking Emily up from work on Sunday night and just thought this lamp was so picturesque with the tree limbs behind it.  It made me think of Psalm 119:105.  As I ponder more about it, life can be just like this.  Sometimes it is very dark and I can barely see anything around me.  The light helps me to see, but only for a short distance.  God will light our feet and our path before us, but He only uses a lamp not a floodlight.  We can sometimes only see the next step we are to take.  For all we know there could be dangers all around, but we only see that one step and should not try to move out of that light that our Father provides for us.  God paces our steps in order for us to avoid many of those dangers, I believe.  When we rush ahead without waiting on God's timing or when we try to veer off the lit course He has made for us, that is when we run into trouble.  May we each strive to follow the steps that God lights for us as we sojourn here on earth.  May we not run ahead, lag behind or veer from the designated path.  May we learn the lessons that God has for us on that path.  There will be pain and heartache along the way, but it is still a safer and more rewarding path than the one without God with us!!

Blessings to you,
Posted by Picasa

Isaiah 43

That is the theme of this past week---Isaiah 43.  It seems like every time I read something this past week, it referenced that chapter of the Bible.  I knew that I needed to read the whole chapter myself since I kept being reminded of it.  That chapter is special to me from past promises and gave me new promises.

In 2006, when the Lord told me to go to India on a mission trip, I really was not excited about it.  Who would be?  I mean I had heard of the unsanitary conditions, the lack of sleep that people got on these trips, and most recently I had heard of the water.  You see, two of my pastors had just been to India in August, the rainy season.  There was so much flooding in the slum area of Bombay (a.k.a., Mumbai) that my pastors had to take off their shoes and socks, roll up their pants legs and wade through water that was a foot deep and so murky that they had no idea where they were stepping.  But they had to do it in order to see the precious orphan children that our church cares for.  And when I went on my trip in January of 2007, we would be visiting all the children, too, even the ones at the same home that my pastors waded through the water to get to.  All I could picture after that was walking through that murky water.  What if I stepped on something sharp and cut my foot, only to get a severe infection or something worse?  What if there were snakes in that water?  The "What ifs" went on and on, and I just couldn't seem to stop thinking about them.  I prayed about it because I was very uneasy.

The Lord heard my prayers and gave me an answer!!  I love it when the answer to a prayer comes quickly.  Then I am able to remember that I am precious to my Father (I am Daddy's baby girl!).  Of course, as a side note, I must say that I am always precious to my Father even when the answers to my prayers are delayed or come in a different form than expected!  Back to my story... the Lord lead me to Isaiah 43:2 which says,

When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
  They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
  You will not be burned;
  The flames will not set you ablaze.

Amazing!!! Right there in God's word, He had an answer prepared for me long before I was even born!!  I tried to focus on the water part though, since fire was mentioned.  I hadn't even thought of fire...  But I digress.... From that point on, I began to get excited about my trip to India.

I do want to make sure that you notice though that it says "when you pass through the waters."  It doesn't say IF you do, but WHEN you do.  That is a great reminder for all of life.  We will pass through water and fire in this life, maybe not literally, but at least figuratively.  We need to remember during those times when we feel that we are drowning or burning up that our Daddy, who loves us so much, is right there with us!!  There will never be a trial that comes that God says to us, "Sweetie, you are on your own with this one!"  Instead He will walk through the trials with us, carrying us when we are too weak to walk ourselves.

What a wonderful reminder that was from my past.  A time when God showed me that He heard my prayers and He loves me enough to stick with me in the difficult times as well as the good times.  You can't rely on mere human beings to do that for you!

But as I read on in that Isaiah 43, I came to verses 18-19.  This part of the chapter served as my new encouragement for the season that I am in right now.  It says:

Forget the former things;
  Do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
  and streams in the wasteland.

Hallelujah and Thank You, Jesus!!  Does anyone besides me need a "new thing"?  I have been struggling in this same place for so long that I feel like it will be my home forever.  But God told me this week that He is doing a new thing!!!  Have I not perceived it yet?  Maybe I have been too busy dwelling on the former things...  But I have been instructed to forget that stuff.  Of course, we cannot truly forget (unless we get amnesia), but really what God wants is for us to not let the mistakes and problems from our past to define who we are forever.  First Corinthians 5:17 clearly tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  I believe that the old is going and the new is coming continually.  It is a process of being "conformed into the likeness of His Son (Jesus)." (Romans 8:29)  Lord, thank you for giving me the hope of  "a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Now help me to truly "forget the former things" and not dwell on them!

So there it is!  Remembering God's faithful promises from the past and seeing that current promise of a "new thing!"  Lord, may I begin to perceive it and wait expectantly on You to fulfill Your promises to me!!

Blessings to you,