Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tell me about yourself award

Every now and then a fun and inspiring award travels through the blogging world. I received several in the past and I am always amazed at the creativity of the people who invent and design these awards. I don´t keep track of ´m all, but this week I received a nice one from Cathy, over at Thoughts on Books. Thanks, Cathy, for surprising me with this new award. It´s a great idea to get to know fellow bloggers a little better and to take the chance to visit new blogs. In other words, awards like this keep the blogging world go round, so I am happy to pass it on.

Please, take note of 3 simple rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
  2. Reveal seven things about yourself,
  3. Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers. Leave a comment on each blog, telling them that you've nominated them for this award.
Well, here's seven things about me that are fun to share:

1. I just LOVE lasagna, but unlike Garfield I prefer it hot from the oven!
2. I have been together with my husband for more than 25 years, we have no children.
3. I love to travel, exploring new places and re-visiting old ones and I always take plenty of photo's
4. I do not have a television, but enjoy watching movies and browsing Youtube on my laptop.
5. I like my desk organized and clean
6. I desire to write many more books, bible studies, blog posts and articles on practical Christian living and spiritual growth.
7. I have learned to speak in public and actually feel in my element when doing so.

I've chosen 5 blogs. Some I have followed for ages, others I've recently started following. Feel free to go visit these lovely blogs and Cathy's as well. :)

On Wings of Mirth and Worth
Putting Pen to Paper
My Daily Walk in His Grace
Blessings in His Grip

If you are one of the 5 blogs I nominated and would like to pass it on, copy the blog award to a post, reveal 7 things about yourself, and pass this award on to 5 other bloggers of your choice. Congrats!

Happy blogging!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Contrast of events

It was an interesting week here in the Middle East. Well maybe that is an understatement.

We witnessed first hand how a nation welcomed back their lost son. We saw how a country celebrated the safe return of one of their kidnapped soldiers, despite the heavy price tag. We learned that a human life is valued and loved here in this tiny nation. The people of Israel cried silent tears before the television as they remembered the lives of the hundreds of people who died as the result of terrorism. More than a thousand prisoners received grace and went home. Will they be thankful? 

At the same moment we watched how a people captured their leader, tore him to pieces and slit his throat. The killing of a human being is a horrible thing to watch, no matter who it is. Only one thing came to mind: the people have become as vicious as their leader. The contrast of events couldn’t have been bigger.

As I pondered about the week's events I was reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and just had to stop here, May you come to know His love-although it can never be fully known-and so be completely filled with the very nature of God. (Ephesians 3:19). Those words really stayed with me the whole week. God is love, it is His desire that we come to know His love. Why? Because it will fill us with His nature, which is love. And where there is love, all fear, all anger, all rage, all failure will disappear.

A word of promise and hope for believers, but I kept thinking... how in the world do we get this message to the heart of people who know no love?

Please pray!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Photo impression Israel

Remains of Capernaum synagogue
It is written about Jesus that He didn't stay in Nazareth, but went to live in Capernaum (Kfar Nahum in Hebrew) (Matthew 4:13). Today there is not much left of that old town on the shores of the Sea of Gallilee, but the old synagogue is certainly worth a visit. It still breathes the atmosphere of biblical times.
Arbel National Park
Arbel National Park was a pleasant surprise. No crowds here, just tranquility and spectacular views of the Tiberias area.
Greek Orthodox church Capernaum
As we were strolling along the shoreline of the Sea of Gallilee, we stumbled upon this picturesque Greek church near Capernaum. Tranquility, beautiful gardens and grand views of the lake... awesome!

PS: for more pics, see my album on Facebook!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Journal entry...

Last week I was going through some old journal entries, just for curiosity's sake. It encourages me to read my own writing, it tells the story of my faith journey. I found this section where I was just in awe about God...

"Lord, what exactly do I know about you? What do I really understand about everything You created? According to your Word stones can listen (Joshua 24:27) and trees can talk (Judges 9:9). That goes against everything I know to be the truth. Just because I never heard a tree (or a donkey for that matter) speak, doesn't mean it is impossible.

Everything is possible with God!

If I want to be like you, I have to change the way I think, from natural to spiritual, from limited to unlimited. With the help of the Holy Spirit I can do it. I must practice unlimited thinking every day!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Challenging question

"Who is wise and understanding among you?"
Just imagine that someone at work, or in church, or in your family would suddenly ask that question. Would you dare to stand up and raise your hand? Would anyone stand up at all? I admit that I would keep things on the safe side and remain silent. Sure, I am not dumb and I sincerely believe that I do have a certain measure of understanding, but who is going to proclaim wisdom about himself? Surely, we want to stay humble here, right?!

All these thoughts were going through my mind while reading James 3:13-18. He is not afraid to ask a challenging question, Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. In order words, think before you answer in words, I need to see your deeds. He then shows that sometimes we think we are wise, but deep down we harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition. Anything that comes forth from bitter envy or selfish ambition he calls earthly and unspiritual 'wisdom'.

If we have any wisdom at all, it should come from heaven. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ has become for us the wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30). James clearly defines such wisdom (and basically describes Jesus' character, which should be evident in the life of His followers). Wisdom is first of all

  • pure, then
  • peace-loving,
  • considerate,
  • submissive,
  • full of mercy and good fruit,
  • impartial, and
  • sincere
I like his list. Whenever I have a choice to act in wisdom and understanding I can check to see if my choices are Christ-like. Whenever the things I say and do, mirror the characteristics James mentioned, I know it was given to me from above. We might hesitate to call ourselves wise, but we can ask ourselves: Am I growing in wisdom?