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The Knitter Knows

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My mom has this thing for woven baskets.

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Oh, and flowers. Namely, faux flowers (can I call them that?)

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Look at the basket weave here– I think it’s pretty. Perhaps you’re not impressed. I tend to appreciate things more when I’ve had a peek at the efforts that go into them. Many years ago, my mom took my sister and I to take a basket weaving class at the library…mine turned out something like a vase/pencil holder…but I definitely appreciate these type of baskets now!

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When I saw these pictures and began to think about what to talk about today, I immediately thought of  Psalm 139:13-14, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”

Remembering that God made us, and not just ‘zapped’ us into existence, but WOVE US together in our mother’s womb, how can I NOT be impressed? I’ve tried my hand at crochet, and let me tell ya, you have to plan, pay attention, and have some time on your hands. Every stitch must be done by hand– if you miss it, you miss it. Furthermore, the Word goes on to say that we are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. This description doesn’t just apply to models and celebrities who look perfect on magazines, but this applies to you, and me, and every other normal seeming Joe out there. God knit you together Himself– He didn’t hire anyone else to do it– He did it. And you are fearfully, and wonderfully made.

Thank You God, for making me! I shouldn’t complain about my hight or eye color… God MADE my eyes, which can see! He also made me small in stature for His Devine purpose. Of course God always knows and does what’s best, and I am no one to question Him and how He does things.

He keeps your tears in a bottle, knows what you’ll say before you say it, knows your laying down and rising up, and the number of hairs on your head.

He wove you and He knows you.

Abigail

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Trusting and Resting

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This is a squirrel.

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We tend to get many, many, MANY of these in our yard. And they have quite the “squirrelly” personalities (pun intended).

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This particular squirrel apparently is very trusting.

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“Trusting? What do you mean by trusting? He looks more like he’s sleepy to me” you may be saying right now. Let me explain.

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It takes trust to rest on some random wooden swing set. For all the squirrel knows, it could be loaded with termites or be improperly built, which could result in some danger on his part. But no, he doesn’t seem worried at all, does he? He took one look at that beam and said “I’m gonna take a nap there– looks comfy to me!”

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Every time we do something, we’re trusting. When we walk around, we’re trusting that the floor won’t cave through, and when we sit in a chair, we trust it will sustain our weight. When we wake up, we trust that the sun will rise, and when we go to sleep we trust there will always be a tomorrow. We trust the TV and lights and microwave will work when we turn them on, and that our food will nourish our bodies. We trust in a lot of things, and like the squirrel, we find comfort and rest in that assurance.

 

In the same way, when we trust in Jesus Christ, believing He died for our sins and paid them off perfectly as only He can, we find rest for our souls.

 

“Jesus, I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou Art! I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart” -the hymn “Jesus I am Resting, Resting”

 

“Trust in The Lord God, He is unfailing! He is the strength of my heart evermore!” -(not sure of the hymn title)

 

Abigail


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When Normal Is Wrong

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Most of us would admit we’re all pretty normal people. Sure, we have our talents and unique qualities– but at the end of the day, we’re all just doing the normal thing. Work. Eat. Play. Rest. Repeat.

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As a Christian, I realized that you can’t stay normal and live for Jesus. You just CAN’T. As Christian author and speaker, Leslie Ludy put it, “When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we exchange the normal and comfortable, for the radical, extreme, and foolish. Normal Christianity means never being normal again.”

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Take a look at this flower. I like to call it our “Exotic Flower” because it’s well…different from our other flowers. It sprouts up for a week or few, and then it’s gone. Oh, and it looks even more insane in person.

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It isn’t the normal, run of the mill little daisy in the garden. I don’t even know what it is… but I get really excited when I see it come out!

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In the same way that this flower is well… Not normal, neither should we be.

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Later in the article, Leslie Ludy went on to say, “Amy Carmichael sacrificed her right to be married and chose instead to spend her life rescuing 1,000 children from being sold into temple prostitution in India.” This is only one example of the very un-normal life a true Christian can take up when they believe.

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If you think you can be a Christian and still be normal, you’re wrong. You can’t keep one foot in the pool and the other in the hot tub– eventually, you’ll leave one for the other.

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So don’t be normal! Be what some would call crazy for Christ and dedicate your thoughts, soul, time, life, body, and all you have to God. That’s what believing is.

 

“Love will come to save us, if we only call. He will ask nothing from us, but demand we give our all.” -Love is Not a Fight by Warren Barfield

 

Abigail

 

P.S.- here’s the link to the full article by Leslie Ludy called “Normal Christianity”:
https://setapartgirl.com/magazine/article/09-1-10/normal-christianity


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Leaves and Letting Go

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The leaves turn an array of unusual colors in the fall, before they fall off for the winter.

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Sort of like their little finale. They last “TA-DA!” for the year.

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When I was little, I used to get the words leave and leaf (and leaves!) confused. But now I know the difference!

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We already looked at some leaves– how about leaving? The dictionary gives some examples of its meanings:
a : to go away from : depart.
b : desert, abandon.
c : to terminate association with : withdraw from.

When I hear the word ‘leave’, it reminds me of song lyrics containing that word (does anybody else do that?). The particular song I’m thinking of for this word leave, is “The Well” by Casting Crowns:

“Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,

I have what you need,
But you keep on searchin,
I’ve done all the work,
But you keep on workin,
When you’re runnin on empty,
And you can’t find the remedy,
Just come to the Well.

You can spend your whole life,
Chasin what’s missing,
But that empty inside,
It just ain’t gonna listen.
When nothing can satisfy,
And the world leaves you high and dry,
Just come to the Well

[CHORUS:]
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the Well

So bring Me your heart
No matter how broken,
Just come as you are,
When your last prayer is spoken,
Just rest in My arms a while,
You’ll feel the change My child,
When you come to the Well

[CHORUS:]
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the Well.

Your pursuit of perfection (leave it all behind)
Your fear of rejection (leave it all behind)
Your temporary pleasures (leave it all behind)
All your earthly treasures (leave it all behind)
Dried up empty religion (leave it all behind)
Rusty chains of addiction (leave it all behind)
All the guilt that weighs you down (leave it all behind)
Just leave it all behind and
come to the Well.

And now that you’re full,
Of love beyond measure,
Your joy’s gonna flow,
Like a stream in the desert,
Soon all the world will see that living water is found in Me,
Cuz you came to Well.”

 

Come to the Well today friends, and drink the Water of Life!

 

Abigail


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Splash-Overs of Heaven

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I am so thankful for my eyes.

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I have been blessed enough to behold all my favorite vibrant colors throughout my life. Most of which have been at their best in nature. Besides colors, I can see smiles, draw, and take pictures of what gets me excited!

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Although I don’t spend much time thinking about it now, for a while, I wasn’t quite sure how much of that I’d be seeing.

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When I was a little girl, I had eye problems.

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I had a few eye-surgeries, one for my tear-ducts, and others for my eye-muscles.

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Of course, being a little kid, I pretty much thought that was it. I didn’t understand exactly what my eye problems were, so I assumed if it was something bad about my eyes, it could only lead to going blind. Thankfully that never happened.

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I don’t even wear glasses!

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But between eye-drops and wearing eye patches (not the pirate kind– think gigantic band-aid), I felt pretty strange. I was cross-eyed for a while, and would even bonk into walls because of my double vision! (I could watch tv without even looking at it though– LIKE A BOSS)

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Even when I began to realize I wasn’t going to lose my sight, I still worried about my eyes getting worse again and hearing those awful words about needing surgery the next time I’d go in for an eye-exam.

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I’m not lying when I say I am so incredibly thankful for God ‘s kindness to me when it comes to my eyes! He has protected them and blessed me with the use of them through all these years, and I can go months without even giving a thought to my eye-problematic past!

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While I got off easy and was granted to keep my vision, not everyone got that same privilege. I remember seeing lots of very sick, very sad and frightened children back at those old appointments, and I was definitely the better off of the group. Remember them in your prayers.

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Even though the whole experience happened before I was saved, God was with me, protecting me, as I noted before.

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After one surgery, my eyes were actually worse (hence being cross-eyed), and they remained that way until they corrected things in the following surgery.

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But even then, I tell you with certainty…. Nothing happened in that operating room– no hand was  able to perform a THING outside of God’s will.

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Yes, things turned out very well for me. But what if they hadn’t?

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I’m reminded of when Joni Eareckson Tada, the quadriplegic, discussed something with her husband. They asked what are the good days? The days without pain? Are they the days that are easy?

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The lessons we learn in life aren’t always easy. From chronic pain (as my mother has been suffering from in her arm for the past few months), to anxiety, to double hip replacements and heart attacks, broken bones, insomnia…. And whatever you’re suffering through right now– God is using these to teach us. The good days aren’t the days that are easy and pain-free. “Those aren’t splash-overs of heaven. No, splash overs of heaven are finding Jesus in your splash-overs of hell.”

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

You don’t have to go far to find Him. Check out the book of John, and learn from Him. He not only changed my life. He saved it.

Abigail

P.S. To watch the video of Joni Eareckson Tada speaking about her life, trials and joys from being a quadriplegic, click here to view it on my other website:

http://andhemustwinthebattle.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/a-deeper-healing-joni-eareckson-tada-strange-fire-conference/


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Car Trip!

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Ever have a little old digital camera…

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A car full of cousins….

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And an extensively long drive ahead of you?

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Part of keeping myself entertained (besides doodling on a dry erase board and kidding around with my cousin) was looking out the window.

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The clouds were so beautiful. You know the classic ‘something heavenly is going to descend, I know it!’ cloud thing was totally going on that day. Though Jesus did not choose to make His return at that time, I did manage to take some nice sky/car window pictures (Sorry for the streaks!)

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The sun’s blasting, beaming light is so powerful. It overcomes the photos.

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The sky is so blue, and the grass so green. Is it weird I just want to run through it?

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In the same way the sun overcomes these road trip photos and makes all the clouds gathered around it glow with ‘silver lineing’, Christ overcomes all else, when looking honestly at who He is.

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In a classic hymn, there is a verse that goes ‘turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”

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The Bible even says how Moses’ face, after he had come down from mount Sinai, actually shone radiantly because of his talking with God! When the people saw him, they were terrified, so he had to put on a vile until it faded.

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Saul (the Apostle Paul’s name before he was saved), was knocked down like a domino on his way to persecute Christians– Acts 9:3-8 says, “As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.”

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After that encounter with Jesus Himself and seeing the Light for the very first time, Saul believed. He went from “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”, to faithfully preaching the divinity and Lordship of Christ to everyone he could until he was finally put to death for it.

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Though he was stricken temporarily blind, it was, for him, really the clearest he had ever seen before. Though without sight, he was powerfully and fully overcome by the awesome light and glory of Christ.

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Now, these days, we don’t get visions and signs of heaven opening up before us. Though unlike Paul, we have not only the Old Testament, which all speaks of Christ, but also the New Testament, containing the teaching and preaching of Jesus Himself, that we may see the Light and believe!

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And when we believe, like the clouds surrounding the sun, we reflect the Light.

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We are to be imitators of God.

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“Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.” -1 Peter 2:21

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One of my past Sunday school teachers once explained how life is like a movie. And God is the main character. There are some supporting roles– maybe you’ll see the back of Moses’ head for half a second. But we’re sort of a quick blur, and even the most prominent of us (think David, or Paul) are only a tiny flash on the screen, and that it is all really about God.

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I never forgot that.

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I might not be the star of this show– and by all means, I’d just mess it up. I’m not worthy to have ANY role…. If I had auditioned, I’d have failed. God GAVE me my part in it. I am honored to have my name written in the book of life since before the world began. I can’t fathom it, or earn it or explain it. But I am so thankful.

Light changes things. I think you know which Light I mean!

Abigail


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Bloom Where God Plants You

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Flowers are beautiful, right?

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Personal preference: yes.

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And everybody knows that you have to purposefully plant, water and prune your flowers in order for them to properly grow to their full potential, correct?

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Yes.

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So it’s no surprise that when faith like a mustard seed is planted and sewn in our hearts, there must be watering, growing, etc. Before a flower ever can bloom, it must be planted, fed and become a bud.

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It might seem like a silly thing to toss the seeds in the dirt and pour water on them day after day, put down plant food, keep bugs and critters away and ensure the sprouts get enough sunlight.

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But when the colorful petals finally open up and stretch out like the wings of a butterfly, painting a beautiful picture– even the suspicious onlookers must admit, it was not a seed sewn in vain.

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As Christians, we know that someone planted that seed of faith in our hearts, and others watered. Our eyes finally began to see our sins and Christ’s righteousness. We repented and God through Christ’s sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection brought us reconciliation with God– as if WE were the ones who’d paid off our debts. But it was Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

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Romans 10:9-13 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

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This is a joyful, beautiful message of life and eternal hope! But it is also a very sobering, serious matter, not to be taken lightly: “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE. THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”; “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” Romans 3:10-13;18

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You MUST repent to be saved, and you MUST confess Jesus as Lord. Your eternal state is on the line. But take heart– listen to these amazing words that Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord spoke to comfort us and remind of this beautiful truth: Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”

“A Yoke” (as defined by Wikipedia) “is a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs”. Read again the verse above. (It’ll make more sense when you’re not thinking eggs…) Isn’t that amazing?

His yoke is EASY, and His burden is LIGHT. This comforts me. I hope it comforts you as you seek refuge in Him today. He is mighty to save.

Abigail