Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Check-up before Christmas

So much has gone on that I don't know where to start.  Here is a check-up on what has been going on.
  1. First week I was away: All of us, well, most of us took sick with nasty colds.  We just had to get the worst of it.  No mildness that week!
  2. Second week I was away: I was very busy trying to finish all the gifts I was making.  Now I am finally done!...I hope.
 We are now in the third week.  School has let out for Christmas holiday!  Let me tell you, we are very excited about that.  Finally, Christmas is just three days away.  Only. three. days.  Wow.  I cannot begin to describe how astonished I am.  I knew that December would d...r...a...g by, I just knew.  Apparently I was wrong.  However, I am quite glad to be proven wrong.  The time has flew by and I am completely ready for Christmas.

Then, the Sunday after Christmas some friends are driving down from Indiana to stay awhile with us!  We are also excited about that.  We haven't seen this family in a year and a half.  I know there will be a lot of excitement the week after Christmas.  Of course, there is a lot of excitement right now.  My little siblings can't wait until Christmas.  As a matter of fact, we all can't wait.  (Surely everybody is excited around Christmastime.  Who isn't?)  Although presents are lots of fun, Christmas is about the most precious Gift ever given - Jesus Christ.  That should never be forgotten.  Even in the hustle and bustle of the season, remind those around you of the greatest Gift of all.  His name should be glorified throughout the land.  All hail to the King of kings!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Random Rambling

I am in the process of helping teach Clara, my five-year-old sister, how to read.  Being home schooled, we get all kinds of opportunities that we would never have had if we went to government schools.  Thank the Lord, we have never had to deal with issues of government schools.  (PRAISE THE LORD!)  I could go into all kinds of terrible issues I'm glad we don't have to deal with, but that is something for another day.

Anyway, Clara is learning how to read.  I have already helped teach Maggie how to read a year or so ago.   Of course, it takes a whole lot of patience, (you try it sometime) but in the end, it the best reward to know you helped that child learn to read.  You opened a whole new world for them - the world of books. (who doesn't love books? If you don't, there must be some major problems. Just kidding! But seriously, I love adore books. Reading is one of my passions. Give me a good book, I'll be more content than a.....well.....there goes my analogy.  Clara has been coming along a lot slower than I thought she would, but at least she is learning something.  She usually picks up on things very quickly, and boy has a whole host of questions for each little thing!  That reminds me...everybody is growing up too fast.  Why, it was only yesterday that Clara was Liberty's age.  Now Liberty is already going to turn 4 months this month.  Where does time go?  Out the window?  Why doesn't it at least wave?  All I want is a wave...

Sometimes time seems to go by s...o s...l...o...w...l...y, while other times it is gone faster than you can blink.  I've stopped trying to figure it out.  God knows what He is doing.  However, we still need to make the most of the time He does allow us.  Every moment counts.  Don't waste it.  I myself have wasted a lot of my time - I don't want to any more.  Live life to the most you possibly can!  It will be gone before you know it. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Dashing of Hopes

Yesterday morning, my sister Katie came running into mine and Grace's room, before we had even risen, and yelled excitedly, "it snowed last night!"  What! Grace and I both peeked out the window.  My face crumbled.  I was quite disappointed at what I saw. "Katie! That is frost!" Our hopes were dashed to pieces.  I really have been hoping for some snow this year.  However, the LORD hasn't sent any just yet.  Maybe He won't at all.  I have just been hoping.  In Georgia we don't get hardly any snow, if any at all.  When we lived in Indiana we had snow in abundance.  Then we moved to Georgia and didn't have any at all.  As a matter of fact, the last two Christmas's were in the latter 70's.  I was quite happy.  Now I wish for some snow.  Will we get any this year or is it to be warm?  I will be sure to update y'all on anything that happens.  You can be sure of that.  This year I can really sing "let it snow, let it snow!"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Meditations

"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  -1 Corinthians 6:19,20

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Hidden Heroine of the Bible

Thursday, while during school, I was reading in the book of Esther.  I'm sure y'all remember that story from the Bible.  Esther was the one written about as "fair and beautiful", and was pampered for 12 months!  A whole year!  I'm sure many girls would love to have beauty treatments for a whole year.  You know how girls are.

However, today I am not wanting to talk about Esther, although she was an amazing woman used of God.  That is for another time and place.  Today, there is a hidden hero, or I should say, heroine, in the story of Esther: Queen Vashti.  Surprised?  Not many people know anything about her.  Honestly, I don't either.  That is why I want to want to try and uncover somethings that have came to my attention. (Oh, by the way, since this is Saturday, I also have a book review mixed in.  The book is Secret Keeper, written by Dannah Gresh.)

In the book Secret Keeper, Dannah Gresh also recognizes Queen Vashti as a hidden heroine of the Bible.  Listen to what she says:  "Queen Vashti, Esther's predecessor, is the Bible's hidden hero.  The king called her to flaunt herself.  He and his friends were drunk, and she knew it was inappropriate for a woman in her culture to flaunt her beauty in front of a man, let alone a room full of drunken men.  She lost her crown but not her honor.  She oozed with inner confidence!  Queen Vasthi understood that the power of her allure was protected not only by what she wore but also by where she went, when she went, and how she acted.  She held the power of inner modesty in the palm of her hand.  She wasn't about to forfeit that power...not even at the command of the king."  Pretty strong statements, what?  I believe we have found a hidden hero in the Bible - one we would have never though of.

Women do have a certain kind of power.  You may not think so?  Guys are visual. (Sound corny the way I put that?)  They go by what they see.  Why do you think magazines always have the picture of a woman on the cover (although indecent most of the time)?  It is because most people are attracted to the sight of a woman, particularly a beautiful one.  Especially guys.  Women do have power - but do we want to flaunt ourselves at every guy we see, or do we want to be modest, chaste, discreet, and wait for the one that will ultimately love us for who we are?  I'll take the latter.

That is why Queen Vashti should be a Biblical role model for us as Christian ladies.  She knew it was wrong and inappropriate for her to be on display in front of a room full of drunken men.  In the end, she behaved in the appropriate manner, although it cost her her position.

Esther1:10-11 say, "On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, (drunk, perhaps?) he commanded...the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty, for she was fair to look upon."

The king had been feasting and drinking; drinking quite a lot by the sound of it.  Then a bright idea popped into his head: why not bring forth Vashti, his beauteous queen, before the province so she might flaunt her beauty before his subjects?  So he commanded Vashti to come before him in the feasting room.  However, Vashti would not come.  She knew better than to appear before intoxicated men.  LORD only knows what might have happened!

Vashti knew the power that women possessed, and still possess today.  Unfortunately, many women today don't care - they only want the attention their beauty and bodies bring.  You can tell by the way a woman dresses if she wants to please God, or gain the attention of man.  Skintight jeans, low-cut shirts, miniskirts spaghetti straps, etc.  All those are made to be attention grabbers.  In this day in which we live in, it is very hard to find modest attire.  Very hard indeed.  But that doesn't mean we Christian girls give in to the pressure and start behaving as the girls of the world - NO! On the contrary, we should strive harder to be light in a darkened world, like Vashti was!  She is a very good example to follow.

Although the Bible doesn't say much about Vashti, I believe what is said is to serve a purpose.  In spite of what the king commanded, Vashti still held her ground by doing what was right.  A great lesson can and should be learned from her example.  "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)   Even in face of loss, torment, persecution, and contrary to popular belief, we are to stand our ground and boldly proclaim we will uphold what it right!  Queen Vashti did just this.  She must have known consequences would follow, yet she still held her ground.  Praise God for such an encouraging story!  We should "do right until the stars fall." -Charles Spurgeon.

O God, give us more women today that will stand up like Vashti and do Your will and law!

The book I highly recommend today is Secret Keeper, written by Dannah Gresh.  A very good little book on modesty and how girls and women are to use their power.  I encourage every woman  and girl to read it.  Although the book is small, perhaps your eyes will be opened to some things.

To conclude, who would you rather be like?  Queen Vashti, who stood her ground to do right, even in the face of consequences, or one of the "fashionable models and actresses" that cover every magazine, those that are weak and have given up everything of themselves?  Do you want to be weak, or strong?

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Reason for the Season

Exactly three weeks until Christmas.  Yes, I'm still counting down the days.  Actually, all of us Brown kids are.  We just had a discussion about it today. (not worthwhile mentioning, I must say.)  I would list all the things I'm making for Christmas gifts, but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag for those who read my blog that don't need to know.  Those of you know who I'm talking about.  Sorry, y'all will just have to wait for Christmas day.  But here I am getting ahead of myself. (or is it behind myself?)

Nowadays people have lost the true meaning of Christmas. (example: Santa Clause, too much emphasis on gifts, etc.)  It is ok to give and receive gifts (everybody admit it...we all like that part) but Christmas is really about that one Gift that was given to the world two thousand years ago.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the greatest gift the world has ever known.  If he had not came to be born as a baby, live as a man, be crucified, buried, then rise the third day, we would be without hope. (John 3:16)  But now, if we as wicked, miserable sinners confess our sins, repent, accept Him as LORD and Savior, we will be saved. (Acts 16:30,31; Ephesians 2:4,5,8,9; John 3:3,36)

Thank the LORD for providing a way for those who would believe and praise Him for the greatest gift of all - Jesus Christ, God's only Son.

This Christmas, let us celebrate the real reason for Christmas - the birth of Jesus.  May He dwell in our hearts forever as we strive to serve Him in this time and place He has placed us.  Glory to Him forevermore be!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What Advent Is

Ok, here is the promised explanation of Advent.

First of all, what does Advent mean?  Simply defined it means "coming."  Celebrating Advent is celebrating the coming of Jesus Christ.  Yes, He already came one to this earth, the time when He was born as a baby, lived as a man, (but was still God) was crucified, buried, then rose the third day.  But one day He will come again - His second coming - when He will destroy all wickedness, judge the whole earth, and when "the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)  No one knows when that day will come - only He does.

To make one thing very clear, Advent is not some religious ritual or ceremony that is supposed to find favor in God's sight or make Him look down upon us with praise.  No, it is counting down the days until Christmas. 

There are five candles:  Four are for the proceeding weeks, then the last one (the middle) is to be lighted on Christmas day.  Although, each candle does have a meaning.  As I have already posted, last week was Hope.

Of course, in all this there is a lot more than I can explain. (You could always Google Advent.  What are computers for?)  I just wanted to give a little bit of an explanation.

Advent is to be celebrated with joy.  It is not something to mourn or fast about. (Leave that to the Catholics.)   Instead, we are to rejoice in Christ's first coming, which has already happened, and look forward to His second coming that will come one day.  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men!" 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Wednesday pick-up

Monday night we put up our tree and decorated it!  Exciting!  Christmas is just around the corner!  That reminds me - I really do need to get busy and finish the Christmas gifts I'm making.  I'd like to have everything done a week before Christmas so I can feel like I have some "spare time" before the big day.  Yeah right.  Just like every year, I'll probably have at least one thing I'm still trying to get finished in that week.  But maybe I'll make a new world record!  ...I highly doubt it.

Pretty, "ain't" it? =D

Now that we have started back to school this week, I find that I don't have as much time as I had during our break.  There.  It took a lot of thinking to arrive at that point.  Seriously, if I want to be organized and get everything done, I need to stay on my schedule.  Then I know I'm not wasting any precious time that could be used for something.

Also, I have a couple of links I want y'all to check out.  My dad has been writing some recent articles on Baptist Vision and I tell you, wow! He has outdone himself.  Please go read this article and this one, and then this one too!  Awesome job, Daddy!

Then, I just can't get enough of Jasmine Bauchums' blog.  I read it everyday!  Her latest is this one.  Check it out! She is one amazing young woman with a true heart for God!

Now that the Christmas season is approaching I have changed my blog background again.  I like this one a lot!  Old-fashioned, yet a little bit of Christmas in it.  Couldn't be better! 

That is all for now, I guess.  Oh yeah! I still have to write about Advent.  Coming soon, I promise.