30 June 2011

The Wisdom of a Stuffed Bear

One of my favorite storybooks as a child was "Winnie the Pooh". I loved reading of Christopher Robin's dear friends in the 100 Acre Woods. Why? Because they were so genuine. Nothing touched my heart more than the true bond they all shared. They were not just friends; they were a close-knit family and they truly loved one another. I have been told that if you have one good friend in a lifetime, you're lucky; if you have a handful of good friends, you are truly blessed. I have some of the best friends in the world.

Some are here in Dallas. For example, my friends Taylor, Hannah, and all my friends from Berkner High. Taylor is definatly one of my best friends. I love her to death! We love spending time together and, of course, eating at Cassie's FroYo in Grapevine, Texas. I can't imagine life without my friends here in Texas. They have been there for years and help me so much.

The rest of my best friends are at Crown. Right now, we're spread out around the country (some out of country) and I miss them more than I ever imagined possible. My friends there are my family. When you're so far away from family, you bond with your friends more than normal. None of us live close to the college, so we are all far away from our families. I believe that God brought us together to help each other grow. I miss them so much. I love you, Sydney, Thomas, Justin, Manuel, Brittany, Rachael, Chelsea, Jessica, TJ, Juston, Kyle, Kaylee, Melody... actually if I listed them all, Blogger wouldn't let this post. It would be far too long.I am so grateful fo the friends that the Lord has given me, especially during my first year of college.

Christopher Robin once told Winnie the Pooh, "If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."

29 June 2011

Dream a Little Dream...

Having insomnia causes me to have extremly insane dreams, and many times, I wake after landing in strange places. Since childhood, my dreams have always been a mixture of Lewis Carrol's "Alice In Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz". I don't remember a time that I had a normal dream or even an understandable dream. I believe that dreams are a huge part of my life since they have such a way of changing the way I think. I would love to share a few of my dreams with you, but I don't even understand how to start descriing them. Usually, they involve falling asleep, waking up in a distant land, and starting my day. Many times, I have had dreams that felt as if they went on for days, weeks, and once, even months. It is so tiring that I get more rest while awake than asleep at times. When you wake up after what seems like a long period of time, life seems weird. For example, I woke up one night deep in the jungle in a small hut where I was working on opening an orphanage. The next night, I woke up in a land very similar to "Wonderland" where a large creature followed me around and, thought I thought he was trying to kill me, it was trying to get me to take a thorn out of his paw. He then became my best friend/pet and I named him Pongo. :) Yes, dreams are weird, but I'm glad that I have them. My strange dreams are a huge part of my life, and I am so priveledged to be able to remember the majority of them!

26 June 2011

"I Can Go In" by Abigail Miller

I heard an amazing song this week and wanted to share it with you. I am in awe of how good our God is for He alone can bring a poor lowly sinner into the presence of holiness. A clip of Abigail Miller (the composer) singing it can be found at http://youtu.be/00Qle_9vza8 if you would like to hear it. The lyrics are based on a sermon by Spurgeon, and the words are still true to this very day and always will be. They are as followed:
♪He stood beside the gate of Heaven, waiting to go in,
And he wondered how this Holy Place could take a man like him.
With shouts of great rejoicing and with music then they came,
Of the angels standing by him he asked what could be their name?
"These are the company of prophets. The goodly fellowship of souls,
Who spake God's Word with faith and boldness;
Who blessed the poor, and made the wounded whole."
"Oh," he fell upon his knees, and cried,
"I am not one of these."
He waited 'til another band of shining ones drew nigh.
They entered into Heaven with a "Hallelujah" cry.
He asked again, "Who are these?
Can you tell me whence they came?"
He seemed to see the answer in a burning tongue of flame.
"These are the company of martyrs,
The mighty fellowship of Saints
Who knew our Lord and walked beside Him,
Who ran the holy race and did not faint."
"Oh," he fell upon his needs, and cried,
"I am not one of these."
Then suddenly a multitude was heard from far away.
Their voices rang with songs of joy like children at their play.
He saw Rahab, he saw David,
Mary Magdalene and Paul,
And the theif who died by Jesus
Was the one who led them all.
"Whoare these?!" he almost shouted at the angels.
"These are the sinners saved by grace!
The host of them who called upon the Savior:
Washed in Blood and justified by faith!"
And, Oh! He leaped up from his knees!
"Oh, I can go in with these!!!
And I can go in, for my heart is free from sin.
I've been washed in the Blood, everlasting life to win.
I can rejoice, I can lift up my voice.
I can sing, and I can go in!"
Oh, he thought that there could be no 'hallelujahs' and no cries,
For this lowly band of people by the world despised,
But as the scenes of Heaven opened up before his eyes,
He saw the martyrs and the prophets, and the host of Heaven rise,
And they sang, "I can go in for my heart is free from sin.
I've been washed int he Blood, everlasting life to win.
I can rejoice, I can lift up my voice.
I can sing, and I can go in!
I can rejoice, I can lift up my voice.
I can sing, and I can go in!
I can go in!!!"

"Not all those who wander are lost."-J.R.R. Tolkien

I had a great week travelling with Mum. We had schedualed a trip to visit family in Louisiana; it was supposed tobe a short, uneventful roadtrip for just the two of us. It turned out to be a crazy week full of family reunions, revival meetings, broken down cars, etc.
Saturday, we recieved a call that my Mum's cousin, Larry, had lost a hard battle to cancer. This made us leave Sunday after morning church service instead of Monday as planned. Three hours into our trip, my car started making a weird noise. I saw that the oil light was on, so we pulled over.... and the engine died. :( No fun! BUT, God is good! He let us get to a nearby resturant where we could eat and wait while looking at a beautiful lake. A few laters, my father and brother came to our rescue. We switched cars with them and continued traveling. (My car is currently at a great mechanic's shop here in Dallas, by the way.)
On Monday, we went to Larry's funeral and then visted my great-great-aunt Mammie. She is 91 years young and is in a nursing home in Franklinton, Lousiana. (The locals pronounce it "Frankilton" and think it's weird if you actually say "Frank-lin-ton" like I do.) I had never met her or anyone on that side of my family, so it was interesting. My great-grandfather, Willie Duncan, was killed in a gravel pit accident when my grandfather was only three years old, so I, obviously, never knew him. His brother, Alan, married Mammie. She has 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren. This woman has lived a full life! She asked how old I was and when I told her that I'm 19, she sweetly said, "I'm 91. We're the same age, but backwards!" I enjoyed meeting Mammie Duncan!
Later on Monday, Mum and I attended a revival meeting at my dad's sister's church. (Her name is Lawren, but we affectionatly call her "NaNa".) It is a small full-Gospel church, and it was interesting to see the differences and similarities in our churches. We have the same basic beliefs, but there are several major differences. I enjoyed visiting there for that night. The music director asked if I could sing, so I was more than happy to use my voice and hands for God's glory. I sang and played "I Have Been Blessed", and it made me really think of how much the Lord has blessed my life.
Throughout the rest of the week, Mum and I attended a camp meeting at Fundamental Baptist Church in Livingston, Louisiana. It was great to catch up with old friends and hear some truly amazing messages. I hope you'll pray for this church and their ministries there. (For more information, go to fundamentalbc.com )
We returned last night, and all day today, I was out with Daddy getting my car from Waskom, Texas back to Dallas. It's been a long week, but I've enjoyed every moment!

15 June 2011

Day by Day by Lina Sandell

"Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treausre
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand."
This song means so much to me! I had never heard it until I went to Crown this year, but I fell in love with it the first time I heard it, and it is constantly in my head. I hope it is a slight encouragement to anyone who happens to read this.

12 June 2011

Old Favorites

This video never ceases to make me smile, even when I'm an insomniac and it's after one in the morning and I need to be up bright and early for church ^_^ What is your favorite old movie? Because anything involving the lovely Miss Shirley Temple, especially "Little Miss Broadway", is mine! I adore this scene!

11 June 2011

Hello, Bloggers :)

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been busy and I have had very little to write about! The past few weeks, though, have had various exciting events.
First, I met up with a new friend! Every Friday night while I was at Crown, I went with some of my friends to a Bible study for Chinese students that attend the University of Tennessee. ON the last week we were there, I met a very sweet Chinese girl who happens to attend a college within five minutes from my house here in Dallas! (The world says 'coincidence', I say 'divine appointment'.) We switched information and decided to get together throughout the summer to have dinner and what-not. This past Sunday, we met up and she visited my home church with me! I was so very excited to have her with me. I gave her a Mandarin New Testament, and I pray that she will soon come to know Jesus as her Lord and Saviour.
Second, I am teaching a Sunday School class for the young kids at my church this summer. In addition to this, I have started a Wednesday night summer program for the kids called "The Rejoicers". The Rejoicers are going to be learning about the Lord by learning about the people whom He created. I asked which countries and people they want to learn about and they requested China, Peru, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Scotland, and Uganda. I am very excited to be able to teach them about the great Christian warriors from these countries who fought earnestly for the faith as well as missionaries that our church supports in these countries right now.
Third, my parents and I went shopping at a few estate sales today and found some amazing international percussion and woodwind instruments. I'm very excited about sharing these with The Rejoicers as well as my own children some day. I am praying right now about starting a children's home one day, and I pray that the Lord will lead me in the way that He wants me to go. Please pray for me with this.