Tuesday, June 29, 2010

my life

LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
   behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is high; I cannot attain it.
For you formed my inward parts;

   you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
   my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
   the days that were formed for me,
   when as yet there was none of them.
           ~Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16

I  have spent many hours trying to figure out how my life will be. I have spent many hours day dreaming about possible situations I may find myself in. I have spent many hours stressing over the possibility of making wrong choices. I have reminded myself of my life goal, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, but I am not sure of how best to do this. I have spent all this time trying to figure things out by myself and therefore putting all the pressure on myself. INTJs tend to do anything they want done themselves because they have very, very high standards. Consequently, if the INTJ does not feel that the person handling the situation is doing it accurately, the INTJ usually takes over (notice the "I" at the beginning of each of the previous sentences). If I apply this truth to my life, I see that I am taking over my life because I want it done "correctly", but this also means that I don't trust the person in charge of my life. I don't trust God. God cannot be inadequate and therefore my understanding must be inadequate. I already acknowledged this previously when I realized that I don't know how serve God best. But I didn't think it all the way through until talking with a friend. Sometimes, even though you know the truth, you need to hear it from someone else. I finally realized how little I had been trusting God after reading Psalm 139 last night. I also realized that I don't need to figure out my life. "...in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." My life is already written out; it has already been decided. It hasn't been thought about or talked about, it has been permanently written down. I don't need to figure out my life, I only need to trust God and submit myself entirely to Him.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

good books :)

I have been cleaning out all of my school binders and in the process I found many pieces of literature that I had forgotten. I really enjoyed and learned from many of them and so I decided to start a list: 

 Books/Plays/Short Stories I Love:
   Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen, 1813)

   Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte, 1847)
   Elsie Dinsmore (Martha Finley, 1867)
   The Picture of Dorian Grey (Oscar Wilde, 1890)
   Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad, 1902)
   Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw, 1916)
   The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams, 1945)
   Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton, 1948)
   To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee, 1960)
   A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry, 1961)
   The Chosen (Chaim Potok, 1967)
   A Father’s Promise (Donna L. Hess, 1987)
   Letters from Rifka (Karen Hesse, 1992)
   Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine, 1997)

Books/Plays/Short Stories I Like:

   Hamlet (William Shakespeare, 1603?)
   As You Like It (William Shakespeare, 1623?)
   The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (Margaret Sidney, 1881)
   The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (Mark Twain, 1867)
   The Dead (James Joyce, 1914)
   Our Town (Thornton Wilder, 1938)
   Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway, 1952)
   Mara, Daughter of the Nile (Eloise Jarvis McGraw, 1953)
   Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell, 1960)
   From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler (E. L.
          Konigsburg, 1967)
   Shadow Spinner (Susan Fletcher, 1998)
   Chasing Vermeer (Blue Balliett, 2003)
   The City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau, 2003)
   The Tale of Despereaux (Kate DiCamillo, 2003)
   Airman (Eoin Colfer, 2007)
   Artemis Fowl Series (Eoin Colfer, 2003-2008)
   Inheritance Series (Christopher Paolini, 2003-2008)
   Tales of the Frog Princess Series (E. D. Baker, 2002-2009)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

His great bidding

But prayer against His absolute decree/ No more avails than breath against the wind/ Blown stifling back on him that breaths it fourth./ Therefore to His great bidding I submit. 
~Adam from Paradise Lost by John Milton

So often I want to have a set plan that should be accomplished at any cost. I put time a lot of time into preparing and doing tasks well. Because I put so much time into each thing I do, I expect each one to go according to my plan. I forget that any amount of my time and any amount of my effort is worthless without the Holy Spirit. I can try to move a mountain all day or all year, but if God wants that mountain there, it is not going to move. My time and effort would be much better spent if I were to use them for His glory and I were to seek out His plan for me. Therefore to His great bidding I submit...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

the value of life

"What broke in a man that he could bring himself to kill another? What broke when he could bring himself to thrust down the knife into the warm flesh, to bring down the axe on the living head, to cleave down between the seeing eyes, to shoot the gun that would drive death into the beating heart?"
~Alan Paton, Cry the Beloved Country

The value of human life has greatly diminished. Several months ago my sister convinced me to watch G.I.Joe with her. I was astounded. Several characters took the liberty to kill entire rooms filled with innocent bystanders in just about every scene. Well at least until halfway through the movie, at which point I turned it off. Putting myself in the shoes of an actor, I don't understand why someone would want to be paid large sums of money to entertain masses of people by pretending to extinguish life. I am well aware that I tend to over-analyze everything, but this really upset me. Sin has corrupted mankind so much that we don't even place a value on human life. We are immune to and even entertained by the destruction of human life. And if we don't value life that is scientifically proven to be human, is it any wonder that we don't value debated human life in the womb? 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

thoughtless mortal

In the little stuying I did manage accomplish while preparing for finals, I came across a quote that I had copied into my binder. "Oh, thoughtless mortals ever blind to fate, too soon dejected, and too soon elate!" This comes from The Rape of the Lock, a mock-epic, which humorously reflects on many painful truths. I find this quote to be especially fitting today. As I think of the things for which I have been excited and things that have caused me to become angry, I am disgusted at how many of them have little or no eternal value. Interesting how, after thinking and therefore diminishing my thoughtlessness, I gain a better sense of my emotions. My emotions are excited too easily when a sinful habit is involved. Yet, when it comes to glorifying and enjoying God, serving others, etc. I find a general lack of emotion. Desires generally produce strong emotions and so it appears that an evaluation of my desires is in order...