Monday, 29 April 2013

In the Belly of the Whale

I was reading Jonah the other day, and as I was following the story that we've all heard hundreds of times growing up, I got to the part where the guys throw Jonah overboard.

Jonah 1:15-16
Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Okay, great. Jonah is running away from God, he is blatantly disobeying Him. God says go to Nineveh, Jonah goes to Tarshish, the absolute other direction. So God sends a giant storm and the sailors are all terrified. After some prayer and discussion and lot-drawing, they decide to throw Jonah overboard. Think about this. You are Jonah. God asked you to go to Nineveh to share God's great love for them and call them to repentance. For some reason you decide that you don't want to go to Nineveh and you head the other direction. While you are on your journey there is a horrible horrible storm and you might all die and the ship might break up. You are sleeping. The sailors were all praying to their gods and nothing was happening, so they wake you up to pray to yours. You all draw lots to see who is responsible for this mess - this storm was so bad there must be a big reason for it. You tell them to throw you overboard. That will calm the storm. They tried not to, in many ways; they made every attempt to save you from the certain death if they threw you overboard. In the end, that's what happened. You got tossed overboard. You are gonna die. 

Jonah 1:17-2:10
Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said: 
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.
 “When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Look at v. 17: God provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah [...]. Wow. Talk about deliverance. I betcha Jonah wasn't expecting that! Keep reading, that whole passage. Especially the first part: In my distress I called to the LORD and He answered me. Clearly the fish here is the answer, the deliverance. (the rest of the passage isn't so much what I wanted to talk about but I put it all there because I just. love. it.)  

When was the last time you were in some sort of trouble? Likely it was not as big as being thrown into the sea to certain death. But whatever it was, you needed some sort of help or deliverance. You prayed to God (or perhaps you even didn't) and He sent you something. Jonah was drowning. Then God sent a fish to swallow him. Wait a second here. This is helping me? What are you thinking God? Now instead of drowning I just have to die slowly inside of this fish. Is this like from the frying pan into the fire? But no. God used the fish as Jonah's deliverance. 

I think sometimes God will use things that we are not expecting to help us. We may even think it is horrible, worse than what we were going through. But look at v. 10: And the LORD commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah got his life back. God did not let him die in that fish, he sent him back to land. Our God can use anything! He is an awesome God! Don't doubt Him because He didn't send you the kind of help you were expecting! It will most definitely turn out to be the absolute best thing for the situation. 

Hope you all have a lovely lovely day!! :)
Emma

p.s. just because it is so awesome I will put the Newsboys 'In the Belly of the Whale' song from VeggieTales Jonah movie down here.... ;D


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Prayers?

And just so y'all know, I am feeling brain-dead today and nothing is coming out right... :P Everything I am saying/writing and doing this morning is making no sense and yeeaaah...
so if you feel like praying for me today that would be very much appreciated!!! :)
Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Emma

Soak it In

I was listening to this song the other night as I was washing the dishes, and even though I have heard it many many times before, God kind of used it to speak to me again, so I wanted to share it with you.


I was just beginning to make this post and I realized that this is very much connected to Cassidy's last post 'Slow Down'. These days DO go by and they are gone before we know it. So let's take the time to slow down, soak it in, and thank God.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Washing dishes is not something that I particularly dislike but nor is it something that I would choose to do for fun, but why I am I going to grumble about doing it and waste the time? I can NEVER get that time back.

And like it says in the song, 'like a September morning, like snow without a warning, like how the summer feels upon your skin'; I don't know about you but for me it is often very easy to take all those things for granted. 

I decided to enjoy the feel of the nice hot water on my hands. Today I challenge you to find 5 things that you are taking for granted and enjoy them!

God be with you!
Emma

Monday, 22 April 2013

Everything for a Reason

I just finished reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, again. This time as I was reading I noticed that there were a whole bunch of really profound things that they said. My personal favourite at this point in time; "Every experience God gives us...is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.” Doesn't that just blow your mind? Nothing that you go through on this earth is futile, for no reason! Everything that you go through has a higher purpose! Sometimes when tragedy happens, we will say "God must have had a reason for this." And it is true. Even if it is 'just' to give you preparation for what lies ahead. 

I would also like to mention that for those of you who don't know it (although I'm assuming you pretty much all do) that today, April 22, is Cassidy's birthday! As I'm sure you also already know she is such an awesome, sweet, Godly gal! I have known her for just a wee bit under 12 years! So Happy Birthday dear friend!

Now you're wondering how I am going to tie those two pretty much completely-unrelated subjects together. And I will show you. 

When Cassidy and the McCardles moved out west to Calgary (I know it isn't actually Calgary, and we do know where it really is, but we always just say Calgary anyways... :P) two years ago, that was probably one of the two hardest things that had ever happened to me in my life. I lost my Grandma to leukemia in 2007, which is the other of my 'two hard things'. Cassidy was my best friend, we were almost neighbours, all of our parents and siblings liked to hang out; it was like a dream friendship! But then when they moved away, it was really really hard! Sometimes it hurt so bad that it was really hard to see how God could have a reason for it. But we just had to keep trusting that He, the Sovereign LORD, did. 

Looking at it now, I am going to say that I really do wish with all my heart that they could move back. But I don't know what God has in store, either for me, or for them. If He still has more work to do in me, in them, in those around them, who am I to begrudge God's master plan? I just gotta trust that He knows best, and that every experience God gives us IS the perfect preparation for the future only He can see! I don't know what's coming up ahead! I don't know why a lot of things happen to me! Even small things, like a bad day with the sibs, broken glass, God uses those things to prepare you for your future. Doesn't that just awe you?! 

I would like to say, just before I close, that I also do believe that being sinful people with free will, that we can most definitely make stupid choices, leading us to have experiences that were not in God's original plan for us. But I also believe that our God is an awesome God and that like it says in Romans 8, He can work for our good in ALL things: not only the good, but the bad. 

So be encouraged. I don't know what you're going through today. Be it something big like losing someone who was close to you, be it something small like a long day at work, or kids who just. won't. stop. fighting. But whatever it is, God is using it. It is NOT in vain! 

May God bless you today!
Em

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Feedburner/email - PLEASE READ

Hello all,
Unfortunately it seems that our feedburner is NOT working :( (if anyone has any techy help please let me know. :)) I am hoping at some point to try and fix it but for right now we have another plan.
We would like to be able to notify people when new posts are made and realized that there is a section in the settings where you can email people. Unfortunately you can only enter ten email addresses. So the first ten people to either email me (emluvshockey@gmail.com) or comment on this post will get your addresses entered. Anyone who did not make the top ten please still email/comment and Cassidy or I (whoever makes the post) will send an email out saying to check the blog.
Sorry for the inconvenience!
Blessings,
Emma

UPDATE: It seems our feedburner IS once again working (so sign up! ;))... hopefully it will stay that way, however if it dies again, you can still let me know if you would like to be notified... we only have one person currently 'signed up' (and you know who you are hahaha). 
 

I'm Not Really Sure What to Call this Post... I am not very good at naming things like this... :P

So I have been thinking about this... and for right now I think I can commit to posting twice a week... one more lengthy more thought-out post, and another shorter post; with a song, or some Bible verses... My goal is that Monday will be the longer post and Thursday would be the shorter post... It seems as if we have got the short end of the straw this week, and the long end last week but from now on it should be an equal length...

My short little post for the day... :)

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whatever you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not human masters.

Ephesians 6:7
Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the LORD, not people.

And I just want to share with you this awesome song (and just so you know, I do listen to more than Seeds Family Worship... ;) but they are a really fun and easy way to memorize scripture!)


Whatever you do today, friends, whether you enjoy it or not, whether it is easy or hard, whatever it is, do it all for God's glory.  May we shine His light!

My challenge to you: say hi and encourage one person today! :)

May God bless you!
love emma :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

Cast Your Cares


Good morning!! :)

I just wanted to leave you all with this glorious promise this morning.... 




Psalm 55:22:
Cast your cares on the LORD, and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall. 

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (~Jesus)

love emma xoxo


Saturday, 13 April 2013

'Giving Thanks in a Bad Day' or 'It's Your Choice'

It turned out that yesterday I didn't have much access to a computer. I did write this post yesterday (yes! with a pencil and paper! lol) but I just didn't get to post it. Sorry. Here ya go! 

"Today started off a bit disappointing. I get up and head downstairs to check my email, eat breakfast, and get lunch together for my Homeschool Highschool Co-op, only to find that because of an ice storm (yes folks, you hear right! an ice storm in April in Southwest Ontario!) the city school buses are canceled, and so my day out is too.

First thought: well today is going to suck. (I have been told that I use the word 'suck' too much... I am working on that... but please note that I use the word more lightly than I believe most people read/hear it.)

I had been looking forward to today all week. As I continued to grumble to myself about how my day was ruined, and it wasn't going to be any fun, I realized something. If I wanted this day to fail, it would! But I had power! If I wanted this day to be awesome - it would! But I can tell you first hand that for most people, including me, it is not easy to just 'turn your day around'. 

So you have to start with the small things. I am a morning person, and I love to bake. I wasn't going to go back to bed, so I decided to do something I can't normally do on a Friday morning - make muffins for breakfast! I looked outside, and despite how much I really hated the ice at that moment - I had to admit that it did look really pretty. Sometimes if we let go of our frustration and step back, the thing that caused us to be so angry can turn out to be beautiful. And if you waste time being angry you will miss it! That same ice that canceled all the school buses also made it too dangerous for my dad to drive to work so he worked from home and we all got to eat lunch together as a family. 

You have to look around for the small things that God gives you. If you aren't looking, or you are just to mad inside, you will miss them. I got to spend the rest of the morning curled up in bed with a good book. I spent my afternoon catching up on schoolwork. None of those things could I have done if I had been at CHILL. And you know what? By supper time, the ice on the roads all melted and it was safe to drive to youth group for games night after all!

You've all heard this before. Is the glass half full or half empty.  'count your blessings'. But it's true, and I just wanted to share my little experience with this with you. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. "

That's a subject that I am continuing to learn more about and the more I learn, the 'more cool' I think it is! Look for more from me on giving thanks! :)

On another note, in about 2 1/2 hours (9am ET) I am running my first ever 5km race! And the weather is supposed to be really cold and rainy and I am getting really nervous now! Any prayers would thoroughly be appreciated! thanks!

love emma xoxo 

photos courtesy of my brother, Owen

photos courtesy of my brother, Owen

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

What's to Fear?

I read somewhere that there are 366 verses that have to do with not fearing in the Bible. That would be one for every day in the year, even in a leap year. This was right around New Years. So I decided that this year, 2013, would be the 'Year of Not Fearing'. I would read and think about one of those verses every day. And then I was looking it up online to find maybe a list or something, and I discovered that it is just a myth. Apparently there are only like 140 or something. But I decided that I would look up a verse in my Bible every day and see for myself how many there are.

Why am I telling you this?

As I have been reading all these 'Fear Nots' for the last hundred days, I have been learning. There are a bunch of common themes that run throughout these verses, and the one that I want to tell you about today is about being still. Have a look at Exodus 14:13-14: 'Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.   The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."'  The more I learn about fear, the more it seems to me that it has to do with being still in the LORD. Moses tells them 'Don't be afraid. Be still.' Clearly they are connected.

I think when you are still in the LORD, you won't fear. You have no room for fear. When you're being still in the LORD, it's pretty similar to fearing the LORD. We have the capacity to fear either God or worldy things. Whether you're afraid of rejection, the boogie man, letting go of your future, heights, or not fitting in, if you are still in the LORD you won't have room to fear anything else. Think about how awesome God is. Think about His promises.

There are two kinds of fear, and they are both connected. One is healthy and the other is crippling. The fear of the LORD, and the fear of worldly things. Which one are you going to fear?
I just want to leave you with three more verses:

2 Chronicles 20:15
He [Jahaziel son of Zechariah] said: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Psalm 46:10
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation."
 
May God bless you today!
love emma xoxo

Friday, 5 April 2013

Heya

Hey y'all! (I've always wanted to say y'all. I know it's not very Canadian, but it just sounds. so. cool!)

So when Cassidy approached me with the idea for this blog, I was like, that sounds really cool! You would do a great job and I would really enjoy reading it. Well then she says she wants ME to do some of the writing. I wasn't totally sure about that, I'm not sure how good I would be at writing a blog about your thoughts, I can do it verbally, but writing it is a different story (my essays really suck lol). On top of that, I have quite a bit of schoolwork to do, and my life is pretty busy.

But I accepted. (only because I thought it might help me with writing practice for my essays lol) No, I accepted because I thought it was a really swell idea! And although I'm not sure how well I'll do at this, I hope you will stick with me and maybe we can both learn something :)

Because we're both pretty busy I think the idea is just to write once a month or so about something that we just feel like God has placed on our hearts, be it a Scripture passage we recently read, or just 'on' a topic, or whatever.

May God use you today!
love emma xoxo


--


Em
ma :)


amen.