Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Judges AND Ruth

Judges was a fun book to go through, because I've never actually fully read it before, but I've read most of it in segments, so it was nice to see how they come together. Something that I noticed about this area is the strength of the women. It was funny to see that they all fall in the same book. Deborah, Jael, Jephthah's daughter, Zorah's wife (Samson's mother), Samson's wife, Delilah, the Levite's concubine that brought the remaining tribes of Israel together (except Benjamin), Naomi, and Ruth.
Not all of these women are good, by any means. Samson in particular had problems, between his wife and girlfriend, Delilah. Both of them pressured and pushed Samson to tell them things that he didn't want to. It says of his wife, "She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him" (Jud 14:17) and then she goes and gives the information to his enemies! Delilah's worse. "She said to him, 'How can you say, "I love you," when you won't confide in me?'" (Jud 16:15) and "With such nagging she prodded him day after day til he was tired to death." (Jud 16:16). Then she went and had him tied up and brought on his death.
The other women in this book, for the most part, were decent. What's the difference?
Samson's wife and Delilah didn't realize the influence they could have had on Samson. As women, we hold more power than we realize (or, at least a different sort of power). Throughout the Old Testament, God warns the people about marrying pagan wives, because they will turn them away from Him. As women, we can use the gifts God has given us to uplift and help the men around us, or we can nag them and prod them. They will not become the gentlemen that they can be in that way. It's something I need to work on too, but I have found in the times I do support and encourage, even when I don't 100% agree with their plan, things tend to go smoother than if I try to convince them to do it another way.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stealing Cinderella

I am not a big country fan, but I had my radio on the country station this morning on the way to school, and the song Stealing Cinderella came on the radio, by Chuck Wicks. The lyrics are below. I love the image in it, of how much the dad loves his daughter and remembers all the details of his daughter growing up. Chuck Wicks did a really good job of it too; I'd never heard of him before. (Pic is my dad with his eldest Cinderella)

Stealing Cinderella, but Chuck Wicks

I came to see her daddy for sit down man to man
It wasn't any secret i'd be asking for her hand
I guess that's why he left me waiting in the living room by myself
with at least a dozen pictures of her sitting on a shelf

She was playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes i'm Prince Charming
But to him i'm just some fella
riding in and stealing Cinderella

I leaned in towards those pictures to get a better look at one
When I heard a voice behind me say "Now, ain't she something, son?"
I said "Yes, she quite a woman" and he just stared at me
Then I realized that in his eyes she would always be

Playing Cinderella
Riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes i'm Prince Charming
But to him i'm just some fella riding in and stealing Cinderella

He slapped me on the shoulder
Then he called her in the room
When she threw her arms around him
That's when I could see it too

She was Playing Cinderella
Riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
If he gives me a hard timeI can't blame the fella
I'm the one who's stealing Cinderella

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Joshua's an interesting story. It's sort of the sequal to the Israelite exodus, because it is when Moses dies, Joshua becomes the prophet, and leads the people into their lands. A lot of it is the battles and designation of areas to tribes, which means there are a lot of names, and it's very tempting to gloss over them, since most of them I have never heard of, so it is just a bunch of names to me. However, it's fun to follow along with a map, and see the size of the different allocations, and every now and then, a name will stick out.

Throughout all the battles, while the men follow God (which is all but one, I believe), he gives them success over the previous land owners. It's definitely an eye-opener to how much power God has. It's not just that their chance of victory increases, but that it is definite.

Another inspirational character I found was Caleb. Previously, when Moses had instructed spies to go scope out the new land, only Joshua and Caleb were faithful and believed that, with God, they had a chance against the current residents. Therefore, God told all the other spies that they would never enter the new land, but Joshua and Caleb would. At one point, Caleb comes up to Joshua and says, "You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.' Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said," (Josh 14:6-15). After all this time, an 85 year old man had kept faith, and was ready to march out to battle. It kind of reminds me of my grandfather. He's 85, I believe. It would be easy to give up at his age, and say, "Well, God said I could have this land, but I'm so old now, that my chances of conquering the Anakites is slim," but no, not Caleb.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Though I am about 1.5 books behind the plan, I am slowly catching up. I finished Deuteronomy today, and it was interesting. I've always thought the Old Testiment was a) confusing and b) somewhat boring. but when you read through it it actually a) makes a lot more sense, and b) is pretty neat!
One of the main themes of these last few books, and a very important one in Deuteronomy, is idolitry. I thought it was really interesting how the main law that God kept reiterating was not to fall aside and worship the gods of their enemies. Yet, he knew they would. They already had quite a bit. He tells Moses, "They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them" (Deut 31:16).
It's more subtle today, how other things slip into our lives and take up time. School, work, sin, all become time-consuming to the point of destruction unless checked (except sin. It's just bad).
However, compared to what God was offering the Israelites, giving up idolitry should have been nothing. He was giving them a beautiful land, success over their enemies, health, families, boutiful crops... silly Israelites.
... silly me. hm.

Monday, February 18, 2008

As Promised, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Hey guys. I had a wonderful weekend- so relaxing!!!
The weather in Calgary is absolutely beootiful! Today, for Family Day (provincial holiday) we went for a walk, and Courtney was in a tshirt and jeans, and fine. I was chasing Ziggy through a pile of snow, and totally tripped and faceplanted, and it felt soooo nice. The sun was shining all day, and soon there will be no snow. I'm looking forward to see if my flowers that I planted will sprout, come spring.
I have not finished Deuteronomy or uploaded my pictures, but I did finish the Voyage of the Dawn Treader on my drive home. I would like to say, it is dangerous to drive during some parts of that book! At one point they threw a spear at Reepicheep, and I got spooked and jumped. It does make good company though.
This book was interesting in that it was a lot of little plots at each island, with one overarching plot- their quest. Each island was a different adventure, from dragons to invisible monopods and nightmares coming to life.
My favorite part was the lillies. The crew of the Dawn Treader was on its way to the furthest eastern point of their world, when in the distance they saw white. They put down a boat to row out and see, and it returned with lillies. I can just imagine sailing through a field of lillies, with the wake of the ship leaving a path. It's very picturesque.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Leviticus AND Numbers (AND my Mental Health Weekend)

As some of you know, I am in the middle of a beautiful five day weekend. I am behind in all the reading I am supposed to be doing, and I needed to get away. I can't explain it really- I feel stressed, but not since there is nothing to really stress me in my life right now. No idea.

Anyhow, I packed a bag, checked with Mom, and headed out to Aunt Heather's. On the two hour drive, I listened to the first two CDs of The Dawn Treader. The second one ended just as I was getting out of the car, otherwise I may have just sat there till it was finished!

I've also caught up a bunch in my Bible plan reading; I actually finished Leviticus sometime last week and just haven't written about it. They sort of go together, so I figured rather than make two posts out of them, I'd do one.

The thing that strikes me about these two books is the amount of involvement the Lord had in these people's lives, and yet the amount of disbelief they had. He was in a cloud above their tabernacle. He was in the manna and quail. He sprouted Aaron's staff. He was in Baalam's donkey. One of my camp councelors or small group leaders had a discussion once, and I remember talking about how even though these people saw him in their lives in tangable (at least more tangably than I think we tend to) ways, they didn't believe. And I remember they posed the question: If we lived in Jesus' time (or in this case, during the grand tour of Siani ), would we belive? I like to think so. However, it is discouraging to see these people, generation after generation, doubt.

I'm not saying it's impossible to have periods of doubt. I definitely have, and the worse thing about doubt is it couples with this twisted perception that you are the only one that is experiencing it. However, when the "difficult" thing about Christianity is that it is a relationship based on faith, I just can't see how these people lacked that faith after God showed up in their lives time and time again.

However, it makes me think about the different ways God shows up in my life. No, he doesn't fall from the sky like manna, but I can definitly name situations, experiences, and people he has brought into my life that makes me fully aware of his involvement. For instance, there is an amazing opportunity I have, which I will go into more detail about in March when I learn more. Things like that don't just occur by coincidence.

Tomorrow is the ice fishing derby on Aunt Heather's lake, so we're going to wander around and see who has the biggest fish. There was a chinook today, so there are some fierce winds, but it is + 3 degrees outside right now (at 10:15 pm!)! We may head to Dawn and Bob's. It all depends. I need to work on some homework (I may leave school, but school doesn't leave me!). I hope you all had amazing Valentine's Days. When I'm not on dial-up, I will try to put some pictures up from the walk we took today, the Dawn Treader, and Deuteronomy (aiming for all of this by Monday).

P.S. I call it a mental health weekend based off of a saying my friend Katie had. No, I'm not going insane! At least I don't think I am... ;)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Prince Caspian

I finished Prince Caspian yesterday as well, and it was very good. A really good continuation. The imagery was well played out with the battle and transitioning between worlds. My favorite character was Reepicheep, the leader of the mice. He was constantly volunteering himself and his troops to the king, though being mice, they can't send messages or things like that. Dispite his small size, he would always try to help.

After the battle, he realizes he has lost his tail, and is talking to Aslan about possibly getting a new one. Alsan asks, "Why have all your followers drawn their swords?" And Peepiceek answers, "We are all waiting to cut off our own tails if our Chief must go without his." Such sacrifice from mice! :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Another post, yes.

I just finished Exodus. I think one of the major benefits of this mass-reading expidition is that I read complete stories all in one setting. Two days ago I read from Moses' birth to the escape of the Israelites from Egypt. Then today, I read from that (I missed yesterday, being up till 12:30 with homework and church anyways) till the creation of the Tabernacle. Definitely worth reading right through, to have the people's backgrounds fresh in your minds. A couple things stood out:

First, the importance of the Sabbath. That could also be because I read a magazine article today about it, but God definitely designed us where we need rest. All throughout, God provides ways for his people to continue to honor the sabbath- for instance giving them double manna the day before so they don't have to gather it then. In the article, the girl's role model told her: "It's also about trust. If he says I can do my work in six days, who am I to doubt?" I realize it's not just about not working, but in resting, energizing, and worshiping God.

Second, it was amazing to watch the relationship between Moses and God. He went from someone who doubted God to one who would speak to Him "face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (33:11) and whose "face was radient because he had spoken witht he Lord" (35:29).

And I found a verse that I've not really been searching for, but just keeping my eyes open. Found it! Ex 21:22

My Motivation Quote

I think it's pretty understood that if I could, I would forget about grades and tests, and live in a library. Educational systems and I clash all too often. I love learning, but I find either I'm stressed or bored when scheduled. For instance, today I finished each teacher's assignment twenty minutes or more before class was over, and really didn't learn much in that time, but afterwards I would listen to Prince Caspian if the teacher allowed iPods, or read How the Scotts Invented the Modern World, which is really interesting and educational (it's like, the history of Scotland). I found this quote a long time ago, and it has helped me through times when the subject on schedule for the class was not interesting (usually history). It's by John Mark Reynold's blog. The reason I'm posting it here is many links expire over time, and I don't want to loose it. Even if you don't believe in religion, it's talking about passion- some apply that to God, but others to life, so I think it's a pretty universally applicable quote.

"There is no excuse for such folly [ignorance] in our Faith! We are, more than anything else, a religion centered in Love. God is love . . . that is the best word for His very essence. He came to us and revealed Himself to us out of love . . . or we could not know Him save as the object of our heart’s best longing (a sort of “known unknown”). He wants us to come to Him out of love. If all this is true, then our passion for Him should make it hard to stop studying Him and His mighty works!
We don’t study enough, because we don’t love enough. The lazy are passionless and who wants to be passionless?
It would be as if I claimed that since I love your Mother (the Fairest Flower), my love excused total ignorance of anything about her or her works! If a boy tells you he adores you and then does not know your eye color, run away! Love always demands knowledge of the Beloved, not ignorance. If this is true of earthly loves (where a lifetime is too short to try to understand Mother), how much more true is of the Heavenly Love?
God acted in space and time. Christians should understand that as best they can in science and history. God acted spiritual reality so the Christian who loves Him will long to see His works (to glory in them!) in philosophy and theology. "

[And my English teacher loves one of the ancient philosophers quote that art is an imitation of life, through poetry, literature, and fine arts. If you look for it, there really is a reason to study everything we "have" to. Once you find that passion, nothing's really boring or useless. -Chels]

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Genesis: In the Beginning...

So, I finished Genesis yesterday. I'm doing another one of Natalie's quests, which is to read the Bible in 90 days. It consists of just over 10 chapters a day (about), but it'll be nice to get the overview, and then see what I want to study more in depth later.

Genesis is actually one of the books I've read three or four times. I always start out strong, saying, "Yay! I'm going to read the Bible", and by Numbers that goal has dwindled, but Genesis is at the beginning.

However, each time I read it I get a better grasp of the family, and notice more and more, and I remember people and recognize names easier. Especially this time, since Paul (Texas youth speaker) focuses a lot on Old Testiment and the Jewish people, it's all starting to come together.

As weird as it is, there is one story that stands out to me. The first time I read it or heard about it (don't remember which) it just amazed me so much. I can't relate to it, and I have no idea why it impresses me so much, but it's the story of Leah and Rachel. (Gen 29)

Jacob fell in love with Rachel, the younger sister. He worked 7 years for her father to marry her. Their father switched her out for Leah, and so Jacob worked 7 more years for Rachel (14 total). See, Leah had to be married first because she was older (think Taming of the Shrew). Then Leah kept having kids, but Rachel didn't so she got mad and gave Jacob her maid to have kids with. It's just one big quarrel over pregnancy.

It must have been so hard for Leah. She was pushed into a marriage by her father (whether it is custom or not, no fun) to a man who doesn't love her, but loves her sister more. Even after she has children, Rachel is loved more. However, when Rachel dies, she is buried on the way to Bethlehem. Leah was buried with Jacob's family. Interesting ending for Jacob to choose for the wife he didn't love as much...

Again, don't know why I like this story so much. Just do. :)

Also, besides Exodus, I am reading The Bean Trees for school, How Scotts Invented the Modern World for Uncle Gordon and my trip to Scotland (yay!), and Prince Caspian for fun! Exodus should, in theory, be finished next.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Horse and His Boy AND Five Little Peppers

I have "read" two more books! Actually, both Librivox and Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre helped out a great deal. However because of this, I don't have any quotes for you. As I read, (actually read) I keep a journal of interesting quotes, but since I listened to them, the interesting quotes usually come up while my hands are wet from dishes, or while I'm at school.
The Horse and His Boy is the third book in the Chonicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. What I found interesting was when Aslan reveals himself as the one lion that has been with them the whole time. Actually, I can probably find the quote...
" 'I do not call you unfortunate,' said the Large Voice.
'Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?' asked Shasta.
'There wasonly one lion,' said the Voice.
'What on earth do you mean? I've just told you there were at least two the first night, and -'
'There was only one: but he was swift of foot.'
'How do you know?'
'I was that lion.' And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. 'I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you mong the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drovethe jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you could reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushd the boat in which you lay, a child near deth, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to recieve you.'"

What a wonderful image of God! What I thought was so neat about this quote was the sense of purpose that Aslan had- bringing Shasta and Aravis together, helping them reach Kind Lune, and bringing Shasta to his adopted parents. The whole book is an illustration of how God orchestrates situations, though they may seem pointless at the beginning, to serve His eventual purpose. Wonderful book.

And Five Little Peppers! [Blogger is being a pain, otherwise I would have a pic of it up here too. It won't spell check for me either, so beware]. It was just a heartwarming story, like Michael O'Halloran, as I suspected. I mentioned before that I recognized it, and I amazon searched it later, and recognized the cover- I had read it when I was little, but I did not remember any of it as I was reading it.
One thing that struck me though, was the pure ecstacy at everything, to the point of being unrealistic. Things were so cheerful- you know the kind of books I mean. I asked my mom why people don't make books like that anymore. I mean I can't relate to pure giddiness, but I can't relate to being a prince on a talking horse, or living in the 1800's, but that's the beauty of literature. She said it's because people got bored with it and like gore and drama. I figure it's true, but the authors of these stories always have a way to bring it back together. In the last minute, something unexpected happens. They're very creative, no matter how similar, and they put a unique perspective on everyday things, and familial relationships. I don't know if I prefer books like this, but I do enjoy them every once and a while.