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A Final Farewell

Well, the time has clearly come for me to cut ties here at LJ. These last several months have been ones of serious life evaluation, and prayer as to where God would have me place my priorities. There is a more complete post at my blog if you so wish to hear a little bit more.

This is the official close to my live journal, both in posting, and in friends list. For those of you who I've met and gotten to know here, please, please, please feel free to write!! I do hope to keep in touch with you! I don't want the cut ties here to mean cut ties in our friendship!

God bless each one of you and the impact you have made in my life! Keep pressing onward for His best and highest, and I look forward to seeing where God leads each one of you!



Joy Unspeakable

"The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall He rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hath not witholden the request of his lips. Selah. For thou met him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold upon his head...thou hast made him most blessed forever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance." Ps. 21:1-3, 6

Sunday during church, a brother read this Psalm, and it immensely blessed me! Life has slowed down for me a bit these last couple days, and as I've been pondering what to post, writer's block seemed to be hitting me from every corner. My heart is full and overflowing, but how to transfer what is there into words has been a challenge for me. However, when this Psalm was read, I nearly jumped with excitement at this "springboard" that was dropped in my lap!

Life has been immeasurably sweet for me lately. To quote a friend's blog,

"If joy is strength, then I must be the strongest woman alive. If mirth is a medicine, then I must be about the healthiest woman alive. If one could die laughing, I am a dead woman."

I had to chuckle at that! It so sums up what I've been feeling the last several months! There have been times recently that I've thought that if God dumps any more blessings and happiness into my life, I'm simply going to pop! There are many days that I honestly feel like I could take off running and just start flying for the sheer joy of living!

I can't think of a time in my life when I've been happier. You may ask why? I've asked myself that many times in the recent past. What has changed? Why is life so immeasurably sweeter than I have ever experienced before?

I think much of it has come from the deeper realization of what, or rather Who, is the source of true joy. Though I have a million things to be grateful for, those "things" are not the source of my happiness. Though at this point in my life, the sky is blue, and the sun is shining, if it were to turn gray and stormy, that Source would remain constant and unmovable.

Recently I re-read the autobiography of Darlene Deibler Rose. 'Evidence Not Seen' is the story of a newly married bride, who, with her husband, were missionaries in Papua New Guinea. Caught in the cross-hairs of WWII, they were captured by the Japanese, and sent to separate prison camps to endure the duration of the war. Darlene endured unimaginably circumstances in her captivity, only to be hit with the news of the death of her husband some months before her release.

Though I had read this book before, it impacted me in a remarkable way this time. I literally wept my way through it's pages - not moved so much by the atrocious things she endured, but because of the evidence of God's loving hand upon her life. As the Hebrew writer states, faith is the "evidence of things not seen," and her life is one of the most incredible testimonies I have read of someone's unwavering trust and belief in a Father who only gives good gifts to His children.

As I read, I also became very excited at what she was experiencing in her walk with the Lord. Though she was locked in a dank prison cell, she stated triumphantly that no one could lock her dear Lord out. Her life and character were not built around the circumstances she was placed in, but in the promises of her Lord. As she chose to yield herself to what He was allowing, she was filled with joy overflowing.

My family brings me immense joy, yet if they were all taken away, I would have joy in the strength of the Lord. I value my health, yet if I were left wasting and sick, I could find fullness of joy in the presence of my Savior. All material comfort could be stripped from my possession, yet the blessings and goodness from the Lord could never be taken away. I could be shut away from all friends and the sweetness of Christian fellowship, yet the joy of my salvation and redemption could never be shut out of my heart. Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone is the source of all joy and happiness, and praise be to God, HE has promised to never leave and forsake me!

I don't know what the path ahead of me holds. Suffering and persecution is promised to ALL that live a godly life. This could be a source of worry. Yet, testimonies like Darlene's has given me the confidence to walk forward, trusting Him for each next step. Life is given to live one day at a time, and sufficient grace is promised to meet each new challenge as it's given!

His forever, only His; Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss, Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heaven and earth may fade and flee,Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.

The Unknown Path

Gazing into the misty darkness, my eyes strained to see the path ahead. Looming overhead were great trees, overshadowing the sunshine that once lit my way. A dense fog started to fall, clothing the trail before with it's ominous presence, until my eyesight was limited to just the very next step ahead. Behind, I could faintly hear the songs of birds in the sunny meadows - ahead, the laughter of those who's path seems to be more brightly lit than mine. There's seemed to be a joy quite elusive to my circumstances.

Questions flooded my heart as the unknown drew my imagination this way and that.

"Will I ever reach my destination? What is between here and there? How long does this darkness last? Which path is the correct one for my life? Am I capable of traveling it?"

These uncertainties beat in my breast, flooding my soul with their weighty doubts, and drawing my heart into an unwillingness to even take one more step forward. My eyes vainly tried to penetrate the darkness ahead, seeking even a small sign of what it held. Despite my best efforts, they only ended in frustration and discouragement at my inability to conquer the impossible.

Finding no relief there, my eyes finally fell on the Lamp that was given to me at the start of my journey. I was told that it would shed light on my pathway, so I gazed into it's depths, seeking an answer for the unnumbered questions that plagued my troubled brain. I find there a cry, ringing through the ages from one who had walked this same path.

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

A rock?"

A glimmer of hope appeared, as I contemplated the implications of such a sure foundation.

"What does this rock provide?

"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord."

"Sing? Joy? In this darkness? How could that be? "

Turning my lamp at yet another angle, I find this assurance reflected, dazzling my soul with it's bright promise.

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."

"Was I seeing correctly? When my heart was overwhelmed, I had but to flee to this Rock which would in turn give the needed light for my path, and joy on top of it? "

How quickly my heart had forgotten my Lamp's Giver's instructions to take all my burdens to Him. He told me it was the carrying of them that would make my path look bleak and joyless. He pressed upon me that He was willing and eager to keep me from struggling under this weight, and showed me the blood stained certificate that gave Him the right and ability to take the heaviest load off my back.

In earnest entreaty, and bitter remorse, my heart cried out to this Saviour who had provided so much for me.

"Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day."

Joy flooded my soul as His truth began to dawn on my heart. Joy is not affected by how bright or dim my path is. My circumstances need have no implications on my heart's condition. Joy - true, sweet, pure, overflowing joy, comes straight from a child-like trust and perfect confidence in the faithfulness and love of a Heavenly Father. This joy ignores the fog, and gazes instead at the face of One who dispels all doubt and fear.

Blown quietly on the damp breeze that once proved so painful, I hear the words echoed down throughout the ages...

"Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies."

And my heart was satisfied ....

Thanks to Ryan for the picture.


....a new online music streaming service! A friend of mine has taken the initiative to provide a website with beautiful background music that can be played 24 hours a day! I've enjoyed it thoroughly already! Check out this post for the complete details. Also, if any of you are aware of conservative instrumental music that is either non copyrighted or permission could be obtained easily, Ryan would deeply appreciate any leads you could give him! Contact info is on the site! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Be sure to pass on the word if you know of others who would be blessed!

A Soldier's Crossroad

The land unconquered lies before,
Behind us peaceful Jordan's shore.
Before lie battles fierce and strong,
Behind the fighting's done and gone.

'Tis true there's blessings promised there;
Milk and honey a daily fare.
Grapes of Eshcol sweetly hang -
The seasonal early and latter rain.

But they say there's giants in that land,
Fortresses tall and cities grand.
Are the blessings really worth that much?
Our life's blood spent that land to touch?

But wait! Remember Egypt past!
That awful bondage in sin's tight grasp.
Our Lord has led us from that place,
and called us out a peculiar race.

With cloud and fire He has led us on,
Supplying manna when our strength was gone.
So faithfully He's gone before,
'Till now we stand on Jordan's shore.

Our only fear in path's ahead
is forgetting how our Lord hath led.
Abundant provision is ours to claim
As we move ahead in Jesus' name.

We find our enemy's heart's are faint
through tesimony of our dear Lord's saints.
Their battles are won e'er they pick up the sword
through their steadfast trust in the name of the Lord.

Brother, sister!! We must rise and meet
the challenge left by Caleb's feet!
Wholly following the Lord his God,
An inheritance gained by this pathway trod.

The blood and sweat that stained his path
In light of Canaan seemed but chaff.
With strength renewed yet day by day,
He onward pressed, he wouldn't be swayed.

We too can claim this blessing grand
By following our Lord through Canaan's land.
The way ahead is steep and rough,
Yet Christ's "well done" reward enough.

With faces set we rise and go,
Moving forward we face the foe.
Shunning contentment, ease, and rest,
We give our utmost for His best!

Zion's mountain is our final goal.
The resting place for a soldier's soul.
It's only there the battle's o'er,
That final crossing onto heaven's shore
A.J.H. March 18th, 2007

(References: Deut. 1:19-31; Deut. 3:21-22; Joshua 1-2; Joshua 10:25; Joshua 13:1; Joshua 14:8)


On Being Wholly His

When the Galilean boy brought his bread to the Lord, what did the Lord do with it? He broke it. God will always break what is offered to Him. He breaks what He takes, but after breaking it He blesses and uses it to meet the needs of others. After you give yourself to the Lord, He begins to break what was offered to Him. Everything seems to go wrong, and you protest and find fault with the ways of God. But to stay there is to be no more than just a broken vessel - no good for the world because you have gone too far for the world to use you, and no good for God either because you have not gone far enough for him to use you. You are out of gear with the world, and you have a controversy with God. This is the tragedy of many a Christian.

My giving of myself to the Lord must be an initial fundamental act. Then, day by day, I must go on giving to Him, not finding fault with His use of me, but accepting with praise even what the flesh finds hard. That way lies true enrichment.

I am the Lord's and now no longer reckon myself to be my own, but acknowledge in everything His ownership and authority. That is the attitude God delights in, and to maintain it is true consecration. I do not consecrate myself to be a missionary or a preacher; I consecrate myself to God to do His will where I am, be it in school, office or kitchen, or wherever He may, in His wisdom, send me. Whatever He ordains for me is sure to be the very best, for nothing but good can come to those who are wholly His.

May we always be possessed by the consciousness that we are not our own!!

-Watchmen Nee
The Normal Christian Life

New Years!

I just finished posting a year's summery on my other blog. Lot's of pictures and tidbits makes this a lengthy and rare post for me. Enjoy!

Prayer Requested

I would earnestly ask your prayers for some very dear and close friends of ours. Yesterday afternoon while heading into town, their oldest son, Jamie, accidentally pulled out in front of a loaded milk truck at a dangerous intersection close to their house. He was killed instantly. 24, unmarried, and still at home, he was the life-blood of their family. They are taking it extremely hard, though clinging to the promises of God. In the couple hours we were able to to spend with them last night, we were blessed by their steadfast trust in our Father.

Please lift the Hilsgen family up in your prayers, especially these next several days. Being an extremely close-knit family, they are hoping and praying they will be allowed a home burial. Please pray for the legal details of that to be worked through quickly and smoothly. Also pray for the practical and physical out-workings of the next several weeks. Much of their business is done from home which Jamie was intricately involved in, and he has left behind a very sizable dairy goat herd that will need care. Just the responsibilities they are going to have to take over right now is overwhelming.

Thank you!

Make Me a Leaf

"Dear Father, help me to learn to be a leaf in the wind for your glory. Carried whithersoever Your Spirit desires, and not concerned about the "weather" of my life."

A leaf has no emotions to become worried about an approaching storm or a fellow leaf's actions. He does not become hurt in the midst of a fierce storm which batters him. He carries no load of agonizing over which direction to go nor does he strive to make 'God's will' happen. The rest and peace which the leaf enjoys is that of the branch abiding in the Vine. No care or task but simply to abide.

The leaf has no care or task but to be a leaf, available for God's wind to do whatever it wants with it. Sometimes on the wings of that wind, a leaf soars joyfully above the earth and its distresses. Sometimes that wind carries it away; away from all the other leaves and all that is known to some small crevice in a rock to work there all alone. Sometimes that wind takes it down to the ground to be trampled on by thoughtless feet or to be enjoyed by playful children.

Still other times that leaf is taken from the ground to a burning pile to be burned by those who would destroy it. But it doesn't fret or cry out and in the flames it glows and sparkles as the fire moves along every fiber of it's being. Even in its end, it rejoices and is made glorious by the very thing meant to harm it!

"Lord, make me a leaf!"

-R.L.N ~1999

Prayer Answered

Check out my other blog for the awesome story of answered prayer! I'd post it here too, but I feel like being a stinker and making you click! *smile*


Andrea Herrlinger
Sunset Hours

Latest Month

August 2007