You folks are ever too kind with your encouraging comments. I find myself smiling all through the day. It feels like I have coffee all day long with friends.
I think today I would like to share a little about my faith with you. First of all, I prefer not to use the word 'religion' and I prefer the word faith or belief. To me, religion sounds sort of fanatical or something that requires a repetition of rituals you perform. No, my faith requires nothing of me but to believe that my Savior died for me and to live my life accordingly.
I was not always a Christian, in fact I gave my heart to the Lord about 10 years ago. I don't have one of those really exciting testimonies you hear - did not have a near death experience or didn't go to prison and have to turn my life around. I just had an 'ordinary' life. I was the same as everyone. I just lived from day to day, trying to be a good person, though I made some very poor choices in my life - like everyone else.
My family had never been particularly 'religious' either - not counting my Gramma. (who passed away one year ago today - I miss her so much) Gramma was a staunch Anglican and she often took me to Sunday School when I was little. Over the years as I drifted in and out of her life, I would go to church with her, because I knew how much it meant to her. I would kneel on the hard floor and pray with her, and I loved the hymns. I plain liked being with her, and I felt safe with her. My childhood was subjected to lots of upheaval with 8 kids in our family, my dad moving us from place to place to keep jobs in mining, and other stresses. I think with 6 brothers and all the moving around I learned to be pretty self-sufficient - or so I thought I was.
Over the years I've been introduced and exposed to different faiths. I became aware of something missing in my own life. I did not want the 'religion' that Gramma had, but I did desire her 'faith'. She and my husband are the two most beautiful people I've ever known. I wanted to believe. I think I was like a flower waiting for the sun to open. I've collected evidence and tested what I've learned about God and when I finally came to the cliff's edge I knew I had a choice to make. I had done all the research, made certain that I had all the 'facts' lined up, now it was the 'letting myself go' point in myself.
I knew that if I gave my heart over to God it would be forever. I knew He loved me so much that He sent His only son to the cross to die for me and that to follow Him, I must do the same to Him. You're looking at a girl who has always made my own way - prided myself on not needing to ask for help. For me, it was as simple and as complicated as inviting Jesus into my life and giving Him complete control. This was the most precious gift I could give to Him.
The rewards have been a life filled with joy and certainty. Joy at having His love revealed in my life at every turning. Certainty, not that everything in my life will go magically well, but that He is in control and the assurance that He has a plan for me. I used to carry around huge burdens of emotional 'trash' all the time, I was misirable inside - now I've let it all go. I live in the safe shelter of His love. He desires me to give Him my troubles and to walk through them with me. He gives me wisdom every single day.
I don't go for a lot of 'ritual'... I believe God lives inside of me, and He's not confined to some small prayer times in my day. He is in everything I say and do. He catches my mind when I go to do things that are not good and pure. Things that I would not have thought twice about in my previous living. I find as I grow in Him, I live with a certainty and peace. I know I will still make mistakes, but its different now...
I know, that I know, that I KNOW that my Jesus is here for me. I won't ever push my belief on anyone, but I hope you can share in my joys of knowing Him, as it spills out in everything that I say and do. Maybe you've never had anyone believe in you - I can tell you, our Jesus does. I hope you find this peace in him, too. Its as simple (and hard) as letting go and believing on Him and asking Him to fill that place in your heart.
For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
LAYOUT BY READER JOY
(using my zebra ball ornament)
I love that you are starting to share your layouts with me. It delights me that you should share and allow me to show off your stuff.
LAYOUTS BY READER KAT
(using my Get My Drift? Kit)
innocent bureaucratic blunder
instant folk hero
intelligent news coverage
interest free loan
Internal Revenue Service
And a little humour for your day too:
A farmer and his wife went to a fair. The farmer was fascinated by the airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost.
"$10 for 3 minutes," replied the pilot.
"That's too much," said the farmer.
The pilot thought for a second and then said, "I'll make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you'll have to pay $10."
The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a wild ride--loop-de-loops, steep dives, etc. After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer, "I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave man."
"Maybe so," said the farmer, "But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out."
BARB'S HANDY TIP #145
Light up a Tower! (No Kiddin'!)
You have to read this to fully understand it...but from what I can gather is
this is an office tower, and the floors can be lit up in different colours...
Colour by Numbers is a 72 meters high light installation at Telefonplan in Stockholm, Sweden. The installation will be inaugurated on October 23 and will shine during evenings and nights until January 7. Under live video you can see a live video image of the tower and also read instructions for how to control the light installation over the phone