Monday, December 26, 2005
Trials and Fires

I do rather dislike it when trials become me. I find myself writing in this blog only when things are extraordinarily good, or extraordinarily bad. I wish I could find balance in my life. And not just in that area.

I have spent a lot of this year in introspection... much of that has led to growth, and much of it has lead to heartache and pain that has led to growth, and some still has simply led to heartache and pain and agony and any other descriptive negative word you can place here simply due to an unwillingness on my part to fully submit and step out of comfort zones, as well as a defeatist attitude. *Sigh* when will I get over myself? It really is funny to juxtapose the good that has happened this year with the anguish I feel now. There has been a lot of growth in individuals in our cell, and in relationships between members of the cell... but at the same time there seems to be a lacking balance.

Myself, I want to blame people, and I want to get mad and blame everyone but myself for my unhappiness, but really, I know I need to look in the mirror long and hard and get over myself, accept my shortcomings (and oh how there are many), accept my failures and my downright sinfulness and look into the eyes of the one who takes it all away. My how much more I should be doing this. I read an interesting verse over the Christmas weekend... it wasn't anything new, and it wasn't anything super long and "profound" but what I learned from it was.

I was reading in Luke where Jesus says "I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."

And I realized that the only way to grow in love (both for Jesus, and for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for those who do not yet know God, and for strangers and all people) is to accept the forgiveness that comes from humbling yourself, admitting your faults and receiving the forgiveness that brings life and joy and love. For when we are truly forgiven (and receive that forgiveness) we have something lifted from us, releasing us from our sin and burden and allowing us to be free and full of joy. As a result of that, we have much love for the one who set us free, and the one who loosened the chains and took the burden upon Himself. And as we grow in love for Christ, the fruit of that will be love for those who are in Christ, and those whom Christ also loves.

Pretty neat eh? It took a lot of the guilt and shame away that I had been feeling, and made me feel okay about messing up, and about wanting to do better but failing. Not that I suddenly don't care about messing up and am not going to try to grow and break destructive habits and other bad things off of my life, but more that I am not under anything heavy when I do mess up, and that no matter how many times I do something (or for me more recently, DON'T do something), God still loves me, and wants to forgive me so that I can experience more of His love, and get to know Him better (for it is written that God is love - 1John somewhere)...

So anyways, Sometimes I find that the best way to keep from spiralling into a depressive or destructive cycle of negative thinking and the like is to simply think of truth, and what is undeniable, and while sometimes its really hard to believe things, and its hard to shake the lies and the arguements, if you speak enough truth, eventually something resonates and breaks an opening in the thick cloud, enough to see daylight and sunshine... and once you get that opening you keep running towards it and it gets larger and you can see more clearly until all you see is this tiny speck of black that was the cloud that surrounded you, and you realize that it really wasn't this big thing you thought it was, but you see it for what it is, and what it was for you are now looking at things in the bigger picture, and with the eyes of truth.

I get the feeling I am going to look back on this entry many a time in the next while as I go through more and more trials in this fire of insecurity. I do have to say though, that I love how God brings issues up to be dealt with, and when He does, it is undeniable what He is working on, and its almost like you are being hit with rapid fire baseballs from a pitching machine, and trying so hard to not get hit by them... but eventually you learn to avoid getting hit by them, and then to hit them away, and soon enough you are knocking them out of the park like nobody's business...


Posted at 11:37 pm by jenpuppy
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Friday, November 04, 2005
A bad day

Today was a brutal day. I feel so dumb and lamed out by how I reacted to the day. Things that weren’t probably a big deal became a huge deal and got me totally stressed out. I feel like I have to be some hero at MTF and like I can’t show that I have weaknesses… I feel like I have to be perfect or I am blowing my shot…I feel like I can’t show that I can’t handle anything cause I’m always being watched to see if I can handle a promotion. The more time goes by, I am more convinced that I couldn’t handle being an Assistant Manager right now (especially not in Walnut Grove as it is now). Life in Walnut Grove is getting more and more stressful. I think that there needs to be some kind of change. I don’t usually have bad days, I used to come to work, loving it, and looking forward to every day. More and more often I am having stressful and ‘bad’ days where I want to go home. Today I was so stressed and unhappy that I asked to leave early (which is totally out of character for me) and as I walked out the door emotion and tears overcame me and I had to sit in my car and just bawl before I could even begin to drive. I couldn’t gain control of myself and ended up hyperventilating almost, gasping to breathe as I cried so hard. This is what it was like when I was working at Tim Hortons doing graveyards – anxiety and stress about going to work… but now its not over going to work, its about what happens while I am at work and feeling like I am failing some test. I know that Mike tells me often enough that I don’t need to be stressed but to just worry about my own responsibilities, but different people think I have different responsibilities and I care too much about the company and what I do to ignore a need and simply ‘do my own thing’ as Mike tells me to. I don’t know what my role is anymore… Mike tells me its Electronics and Clothing. Period. And then the upstairs stuff when I get called up there. But when the warehouse gets crammed, and full of stock I feel an obligation to pitch in, put my things on hold and get caught up because otherwise everyone else is stressed and that makes me stressed too. Linda gets stressed with having to balance doing the coolers/freezers and stocking on top of cash and customer service… and this makes her unhappy and that shows. Nobody in Walnut Grove is happy anymore – it’s not a fun place to be. Everyone is overworked and stressed out and that makes for a negative and stressful work environment. I love being able to go upstairs and do signs/photos cause it’s a reprieve from the negativity. Things are only going to get worse because Christmas is coming and it’s going to get busier. Sometimes what adds to the stress is feeling under appreciated and almost taken advantage of. I know that I am capable of accomplishing a lot, and I know that others are capable of accomplishing a lot too, but most everyone has lost their heart in their jobs. Nobody cares anymore and it shows. I fight to care, and to still do a good job and stay at the same level I’ve been at, but the questions nag in the back of my head “why are you pushing yourself to do such a good job when you’re only getting paid X amount” and “you’re already doing more that what others do in a day and getting paid close to the same, why push yourself?” I know what I am capable of, I know I can do a lot, but I am questioning whether it’s worth it for me to push myself? I have pushed myself and enjoyed the challenges I’ve given myself: doing a 10hr shift on till without breaks when people called in sick, being available to help out with anything anytime. I know I am a good employee and I feel under-appreciated and like I have given far too much for nothing in return and now I feel obligated to stay at that level and its burning me out. I guess the bottom line is that I feel like I am being pushed too far without any way to justify it. I feel like I am worth more and that makes me sad. I don’t want to stop doing what I am doing – diversity has been a trait I have loved about my job. I like that I can do clothing for awhile, and electronics for awhile, and processing for a bit, and signs and price reductions and research on products and customer service… I love the diversity but I just wish that I wasn’t the only one who knew how to work hard and get a lot done. I wish I wasn’t the only one who could get things done and be a self-starter. I wish I wasn’t the only one who felt bad if they spent 5 minutes talking about non-work stuff and took that time off their break. I wish I wasn’t the only one who cared about the company. I wish I wasn’t the only one. Its discouraging to know how much I do, and how often I don’t take breaks cause I’m working on a project or a task and to see how much time is wasted by other employees and how little they care if they waste time. I know that I only have control over what I do… I just wish that I could be considered an individual. I know that Mark has standardizations for the staff, and that there is a structure in place, I totally respect that but I feel like I don’t fit into that structure – and its not like I am selfishly wanting something just because, but I feel like I accomplish more than just one person in a day. I put everything I have into my job – that’s why I do the extra things that I do. I just want to be considered for what I actually do. I love the job, minus the stress. I wish we had more staff, because obviously we keep falling behind, but short of that I wish that Walnut Grove would be judged by a separate stick from the rest of the stores – there are far more factors in WG than in the other stores – more things that take up time, not to mention the high turnover rate resulting in a lot of lost time due to training of new staff. So often, once someone has been there awhile and becomes useful, either someone else quits or they quit and the process starts all over again. So many people leave (especially WG) because there is higher stress for no money. In this particular location there needs to be an exception to the pay structure, or a different structure – or the trend will continue with people leaving – which causes more stress for those who stay. It’s hard to stay caught up on stock and store maintenance/cleanliness when you lose staff and then lose another staff member while you train the newbie. Something needs to change. I know I have put myself through a lot more than most people would, but I know that I am at MTF for a reason and that is why I have persevered. But unfortunately I have had to pick up a second job to make ends meet… which adds more stress to me because I am getting paid the same at my other job to do far less work.

 

The bottom line: Something needs to change. Life at MTF is not fun anymore. Everyone is grumpy, crabby and that is hard to persevere through and keep a positive attitude. Some days are good, and some days are a lot of fun, but there are far more bad days in the past month than I have seen in a year and a half. That tells me something is wrong. I don’t know if me writing all this down will help anything, but at least I can express how I feel. Sometimes what is stressful too is feeling like there is nobody on your side…

 

So, what now? I guess just wait and see what happens? I really do like my job – it’s only the stress that I don’t like… I don’t really want to have my responsibilities taken away, cause that makes me feel like I’m failing… so I guess I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want…

Posted at 09:09 pm by jenpuppy
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Reasons Why God is AMAZING

Reason # 1:

He is GOD.

Reason # 2:

I need no other reasons.

You know, God is so amazing. And for some reason I can't think of very susinct reasons why... so these will suffice. But its true. Every time I reflect on Him... and think of what He has done, what He is doing, and what I have faith for Him doing... I stand back in awe and reverence and amazement. Like my goodness, who is this God that was before time existed, who is now, present living and active, and who will be forever and forever with no end, this God who knew me before making time, before creating the earth, who knew that I would be typing these words on my loverly PC at this time in the world's history, who knew the plans he had and has for me, who knows the strengths he has placed in me, who knows the weaknesses and imperfections due to the fall and who has grace and mercy to invite me to His own family? To graft me on to his tree of life. Who is this God? His name is Jesus... friend of sinners... friend of mine...(there's a song that goes kinda like this too... its a gooder if you wanted to know).

So anyways. Someone (if anyone ever reads this besides me) may be wondering what spurred this blog of God's amazingness... well, here's a few reasons:

* I stepped into leadership in the grade 6-8 youth ministry at my church. I stepped out of my comfort zone and am co-leading a cell. This is all good... but then my friend ZD who is the leader of said cell (small group of girls [gr 8]) went on a business trip followed by a fun trip down to the caribean or something. So, that takes her out of the picture for 3 whole Sundays. Guess who that puts in a leadership role? Yep, me. I was so scared... I'm not sure why I was... God has equipped me and goes before me, but still I was nervous. So I put it to prayer, and this past Sunday was week #1. A couple things happened to praise God for: one, I didn't freak out. two, I was able to connect with the girls. Three, we discussed stuff from the message, and some things about God. Four, I prayed with/for them without just going through the motions and doing/saying what I thought I ought to (something I feared I would do...)

*Also, I heard some encouraging news from a friend of mine down south. She just started a new school and things were pretty difficult the first day, but she told me some things that she's been praying for and about and what she hopes for and stuff and it is super encouraging...  I love hearing stories of how God is using people and how He is working... that alone is super-encouraging.

So there's a couple of reasons why God is amazing... as time goes by I will continue to relay the unfathomability of God and his grace and love and mercy.

Grace, Peace, Joy and love to all who read this.

Jen

Posted at 05:19 pm by jenpuppy
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Monday, October 17, 2005
Leadership

Sometimes I find God's learning curve amazing... actually, anytime I think about it I do. A year ago I would never have thought of myself being where I am now, and actually being confident in leadership. A month ago I wouldn't have thought myself capable of things I have done. Even a day ago... Yesterday I decided to go to the evening service at church.  I have not experienced as much freedom in a church/worship service in my life as I did last night. I really connected with God deeply... I let go of personal hindrances (fear, insecurity etc) and surrendered everything and man was it amazing. I can't even put words to it, I just connected with God. I have had a difficult couple weeks, draining weeks. And the worship was totally annointed, intense, seamless, powerful and I had far more fear and reverence for God than I did have fear or insecurity about people around me. It was also a breakthrough to be able to pray during worship and to just talk to God and not be worried about if people hear me. There's not much more to say... this weekend Zoe will be gone so I will be leading our cell solo, and in preparation for that I am fasting this week and only eating one meal per day so I guarantee time to pray and read my bible. The Revolution One event is tomorrow night and I am excited about it, and Tim Hughes is coming on Sunday so I am looking forward to that.... This week has potential to be amazing (so I am glad I am going to be fasting cause I would hate to miss an opportunity).

Posted at 11:30 pm by jenpuppy
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Stories

Today was an interesting day, and so it leaves me to report some stories of how cool our God is.

Case number one:

I was going to my grandparents for dinner (Thanksgiving Turkey specifically), and wanted to dress nicely, but alas I had nice pants, dress heels, but no dress shirts. Whatever is a girl to do? Well I had about 15 extra minutes before I needed to be leaving to go to my grandparents, so I decided I would swing by the local WalMart and see if I could find something. I prayed, and told God exactly the kind of shirt I wanted (black or navy with vertical stripes, light material) and how much I wanted to spend (under $20) and put it in His hands that if I was to find the shirt I wanted I would get it, but otherwise I would make do with my overshirt jacket thinger... so I drive to Walmart, park, go inside and walk towards the clothing section. I find the dressier items (businesswear I suppose) and lo and behold there is one dark vertical striped shirt, exactly my size... not another one like it in the entire store... and the price, yes, 19.98.... how cool is God eh? And the shirt looks good on me, I actually like wearing it *a rare thing for me and dress clothes*

Case number two:

Driving home from said Thanksgiving dinner (still wearing my spiffy new shirt), I come off the bridge and up the big hill, worship music playing loudly, and I suppose my foot was a little heavy... I recognize this and let off the accelerator, but obviously not fast enough... suddenly there are red and blue lights flashing behind me. Uh oh. I've never done this before, what do you do when a police man is behind you? I wasn't sure if it was flashing for me, cause I know that the guy in front of me just went whizzing by at like 130-140... so I pull into the 'slow' lane, and the lights follow me over. I go a few more feet, realizing that it must be for me, and if its not, well, they will pass by then won't they? So I look for a safe place to pull over (where there's enough shoulder to park safely) and do so. I have seen enough movies to know I need my licence and registration, so as I wait for the officer to approach I get that all ready and roll down my window. I quickly pray that if God wants to grant me favour and not give me a ticket, that would be good, but I also submit that I know I was in the wrong and deserve to be punished for it. I think ahead to posting the ticket on my bulletin board with the verse "submit yourself to every authority instituted among men".... The officer comes to the passenger side and knocks, it catches me off guard and I open the passenger window. She asks if I am aware that my headlight is burned out, I respond that I knew that there was a hole in it, but not that it was burned out. I guess only my driving/daytime lights work on that one? She also tells me that I was going 119 in a 90 zone. I can't help but facepalm. Time to face the music. I ask what I need to give her, she responds 'just your licence and registration please'. Then she goes to the car and after a few minutes returns, handing me a warning and telling me to get the headlight replaced cause with the rain its unsafe and to be aware of my speed. I thank her, and then I ask if I can ask a question... (I was wondering if the lights on the police cars ever give people epileptic seizures cause when we were in elementry school doing a play with strobe lights we had to not use the strobe lights one day because someone in the audience was epileptic), so we parted on good terms. Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy.

So what do you think? I think I have a very strong case, but God's character should speak for itself.

Posted at 07:24 pm by jenpuppy
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Friday, September 16, 2005
Eagles

I was driving home from work the other day, and I saw two eagles/hawks flying over the "Visit Fort Langley" sign off the freeway. I always get a smile on my face when I see eagles/hawks. I don't think I can even tell the difference, so likely all I see is hawks/falcons but just assume they are eagles. Regardless, on this particular day seeing the two birds casually soaring in the sky began my mind to ponder why I like eagles/falcons/hawks so much. It also brought me to ponder why I feel kind of scared by them at the same time.

God has used these birds of prey to speak to me a lot in my walk, and to encourage me. In some ways I see the presence of eagles/birds of prey as a symbol for God's presence in my life. There are many occasions where I feel down about something and feel alone and I will look into the sky and see an eagle/hawk flying overhead... and it puts a peace in my heart that God is watching over me, and knows exactly how I feel and what I need at any particular moment. Kind of like a little note saying, don't worry, I'm still here.

So, I was thinking about that, and also thinking about bald eagles, God and fear of God. The way I feel about eagles and think of them has similarities with God. For example: I really like eagles, but at the same time I know that if I was in close proximity to one, I would be scared and nervous... not because I think it would hurt me, but because I know that the potential exists. Bald eagles are majestic and poweful yet peaceful. God is very much the same -  The lion and the lamb. I think about being in the presence of God and 'the friendship and the fear'... how we can have relationship and communion with God yet still have a holy fear and respect and awe of Him. God spoke to me about this in my heart, as it solidified my understanding of "fear of the Lord". I couldn't always understand the difference between fear, and fear of God. Fear is a destructive emotion, maximizing insecurity and focusing on self. Fear of God is inspiring and leads to worship and a focus on God. When you fear God, you see the awesomeness, the power, the majesty, the splendor, all that God is (which is reflected in all that He made) and you experience the humility of knowing that He chose you by grace alone, and you are filled with this holy reverence, respect and this longing to know more of who God is, and to be closer to Him. It is amazing.

Posted at 09:17 pm by jenpuppy
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Sunday, August 07, 2005
From the overflow of the heart...

Life is amazing when you live it for God.

We are going through leadership training in our cell group - and it is so rich and full of life and truth. I love it. Meanwhile I am reading through the books of the Bible, and no matter what book I am reading there seems to be application to just what was taught that week. I love it.

Yesterday we went to Seattle (the girls in the cell) and enjoyed a day at the EMP and Pike Place Market, and then stopped off in Marysville at the Seattle Outlet Mall. It was great fun, a beautiful day, and a great opportunity to hang out with just the girls (no guys) and connect as females. I was so happy to be able to talk with CD on a couple occasions... I was very very happy to connect with her. Plus I love driving, so driving the 2hrs or so to and from Seattle was great fun. Especially with bright sunshine and great music.

Today, I spent pretty much my whole day with God. I got up around 10:30, and spent over 6 hrs with God today - reading the Bible, writing down verses to memorize, reading up/studying in a Bible dictionary, praying and listening to music. Put this in context of another beautiful sun shining day, and laying in the sun, I tell ya, its almost as good as it gets. Sure is a great day for me!

I am very encouraged recently by other people's comments about me... I used to have a difficult time receiving compliments, but recently I had this revelation that everything I am is from God... all things in me that are worthy of praise/compliments, or anything I am good at is because God granted me those traits/abilities... so therefore its not really me that is being complimented, but God's work within me, and His handiwork. It definetly puts a new perspective on things eh? So now, when people say things that are encouraging about me I don't feel weird but rather am encouraged that God is working in others through me, and that I can be the example I desire to be. I love it. I want people to see God in me, and to desire to see more of Him, not me. I hope that my life can be a testimony of the grace of God, and would serve to bring others closer to Him, and for them to meet with Him.

Recently I was challenged to tithe of my time - this means 2hrs and 45mins per day to be spent in prayer/reading the bible/studying the bible etc.... thus far, its been great. Challenging, but great.

That's about all I can think of for tonight...

Posted at 09:23 pm by jenpuppy
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Long time no posts

Well, it has been a long time since I have posted... I almost forgot about having this account. I was reminded this weekend when friends were posting or reading or something on theirs.

Where to begin?

I was reading on here some old entries... almost a year ago was the last time I posted.... wow has a lot changed! I was noticing change even between entries and the beginning of them to the end of them thus far... I seriously am amazed at what God can do with a life devoted to Him. I look at when I was disobedient and power-struggling and trying to still be my own person without submission to Christ, and I see the frustrated plans, and the hurt and the despair and all the lame stuff contrasted with how I feel now, and the fruit I see now after seriously laying things down.

I still have my job at MTF, but there is enough for a whole nother entry about that, and the changes and stuff that have and are happening there.

I still attend the same cell group, though it has changed a bunch, with people coming and relationships changing...

I am reminded of a meeting I had with KW (leader), ZD (amazing girl), CC (friend aforementioned many times on this blog) and myself, where relationships was the topic, namely the relationship between myself and CC... it was probably one of the hardest things I had to do, and yet looking back, one of the best things I ever did. Prior to this time a lot of my frustrations with my relationship with God stemmed from the fact that I wasn't really following God.... I was following Cassandra who was following God. During this meeting, that was addressed, and a lot of submerged things were surfaced, and discussed, and plans were made for action and such... essentially the band-aids were ripped off, wounds were exposed and left for God's healing... it has been a process for sure, but I see that meeting as a turning point for my relationship with God. I actually have learned what it means  to be a friend of God... I have almost no hindrances in casual prayer- coming to God with whats up with me.... There were definetly contributing factors to this... and I hope to at least touch on them, but from this point, there were no more masks to hide behind... everyone knew what was up, where I was, and there was no more hiding from it. I knew things needed to change and I had people standing behind me helping me to keep building the solid foundation. The shack I had built in my own strength on shaky ground had been demolished, and I was starting over and building first a strong foundation.

In recent months, God has started to build on that foundation of relationship with Him, relationships with others. Both at work, at home and within the cell.

I now own a morgage to a townhouse, and living on my own has been sucha  blessing for me. I can pray at any moment without being concerned about anything, I can let music play and not care if people like it... I can be myself, be free and above all, have an environment to seek God and grow with Him.

At work, I had a new manager come back in February, and it was so encouraging for me to find out a) that he is a Christian and b) that he is a strong Christian who walks in the truth.


Him coming had actually been an answer to prayer... I had begun praying for the company around Christmastime, for those who are Christians (including myself) to rise up and shake off complacency
And for there to be an example set in the workplace. I was tired of having God left out of my work life... it was so difficult for me, cause I felt guilty, and I knew that it was important to bring God into more of my day, but it was a struggle... so I continued to pray for it, and so when Brian came it was really an answer to both those prayers (as I will explain)...

You see, I was able to talk about God at work, cause he would engage conversations and talk about things, and that was encouraging, and then I started praying for his wife and him and their family, and that kind of put new perspective on things, and brought me closer to them as friends, and then I would continue to pray for the executive of the company, and in recent months I have seen faith rise up in all the Christians in the company at some time or another... at least the ones I've interacted with... I have seen more answer to prayer, and it is seriously encouraging. So by having that environment created where I could be myself, and know that if people made fun of me or whatever that I didn't care, my faith was built up. I knew that I was not the only one, and that nobody could hurt me, and if they didn't like me cause I followed God boldly, then O well. So there was and has been tons of growth in me personally cause of a great environment at work.


What else is very encouraging from the past few months especially, is the heart that God has placed in me... he has shown me (with the fall of a leader) how important it is to pray for leadership... and at this point I started praying for all leaders in my life.... He has also shown me what makes a good leader both practically, and spiritually, by contrasting people and their styles.

In the past month or so I have felt like I am about to step into something, and it is exciting and yet scary, cause I don't know what it is... but not scary really cause I feel like I could do anything with God on my side. I know in my heart I am ready for whatever it may be... but the thought still kind of intimidates me, and I wonder if I am ready.... its a funny thing. I have spent the past six months growing so much individually with God, and storing up wisdom and discernment and knowledge and bible verses and teachings and stuff that my eyes are so opened and I can see things objectively and can see things in the spirit.... I have that vision for the future, and I know what God has placed in my heart... I just don't know what the next step is.

I have discovered where my heart lies within the Kingdom, at least at present. I speak all of this in humility knowing that nothing I have is of me, or from anything I have ever done, but it is all a provision and grace and mercy from God. How great is our God!!! But yet I do know that I have been entrusted with a lot. My heart is totally there to serve leadership, especially strong leadership that is totally there, sold out and going after God. My greatest joy at work was serving someone who I knew was serving God. That same joy extends to the Children's ministry we helped out with this year... my heart was to do all I could to make things easier for the leaders, to serve them and to serve the kids... (I was the media person, and I tried to make everything run smooth, and always be prepared for spontaneous decisions where we would need technology to cooperate). I had not really felt strongly for 'the lost' or for salvation for masses of people or countries or nations, but God has really placed in my heart a longing to build up and maintain that which already exists... to keep those who are already there... to build on the foundations... and thats not to say that I don't want to see people know Jesus, cause there are a lot of individuals who I do want to come to know God, and to live in the life He has for them... but my heart extends more to people shaking of complacency and reaching the potential that lies within them. I don't know, maybe this is discipleship? If so, who knew I could have a passion for that eh? But yeah, I want to see people raised up, and leading strong, solid lives... to be unshakeable in their fatih. I want to be a light to others so that they can in turn be a light to others still. Kind of like the beacons of Minis Tirith. God started a fire in me, and the fire in me will signal a fire in another person, who will signal a fire in another person etc. etc.

Yeah, its hard to recap 10 months in an hour so I think for tonight I am done... I wonder if anyone will read this... but regardless I know that next time I look back on this blog, I can see the newest changes God has done in me from now until then.

Something I have been reading recently, is a book/bunch of articles by JC Ryle called "Practical Religion"... I will give a link if anyone is interested.... basicall its this author from the 1800s writing about Christian living and what it ought to be, his intent was to encourage and admonish and exhort Christians to walk in the light in all aspects of their lives, to live holy and blameless lives... to be examples and to remain strong in true faith, not in formalitys.


http://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/practical_religion.htm

I love this mostly cause its from long ago and totally still applies to modern day, and also cause it totally speaks my heart for Christians around me and around the world... like my heart is for people to receive the revelation that life is about more than just us, and that God is so much bigger, better and more amazing than we can ever comprehend. Living for anything but God's glory seems to me like a collossol waste of life and time, and my heart is for others to have that revelation as well and to walk in it. If all those who claim to be Christians really walked in what they profess, how amazing would this world be? If they put action to where their words are, there would be far less excuses of 'hypocrisy' in the church. If there were more people living in step with the Spirit, there would be more unity, and where there is unity in the body of Christ there is power.... how amazing that would be... and one day, it will happen.... I just hope that nobody misses out when they needn't have missed at all. How sad to one day realize you could have spent all your free time getting closer to God and chose not to, how sad to realize that by putting off for tomorrow you missed out on great opportunities....


How amazing, on the other hand, to know that Jesus loves us, that He died for us, that He lives for us, and that we can come to Him anytime! How great to know that grace was extended to us, that forgiveness exists for us, and that fullness of life is there for us. Let us not miss out on what is freely given. Let us not turn back the gift handed to us. Let us embrace all that we have been given, let us use every gift for the glory of God. Let us use every breath for the Glory of God. We were meant to live for so much more. Let us eagerly desire to take hold of the life, the full, abundant prosperous life that we are promised, and not shrink back in fear, in shame or guilt for there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We know the truth, let us walk in the truth. We are now in the light, let us walk in  the light, leaving behind all deeds of darkness. I love God's word... I love God, and I love what He has done in me. Praise be His HOLY name, forever, and ever and ever.... Wow. Jesus, I love you, thank you for you, thank you for life, thank you for change and for growth and for hope and a future. I know you have plans, and I thank you again and again for those plans you have for me. Let me not shrink back, but come boldly before the throne of grace and walk with you all my days.

>Jenpuppy

Posted at 10:18 pm by jenpuppy
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Monday, September 13, 2004
media

Well, time is passing... I am working, and God is working on me.

Not a lot to really write about now, except the Children's Ministry I am becoming a part of. I get to do the media and such for them, and soon I will be trained on the sound and lighting so that I can train others. I think it will be good.

I would love it if I could be able to do the media and such for big church events such as our "encounter" weekends, and other big things, I would love to help out with media for the big productions as well. Gaining experience is great but it would be great to get trained on all sorts of equipment and be able to get a job somewhere doing this kind of stuff... I really want to hold influence in the media/entertainment world, right now I can't see how that can happen, but somehow I would like to be an example in the industry, or an influence on major players...

One day...

Posted at 02:57 pm by jenpuppy
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Saturday, July 31, 2004
Warfare on me :(

This has been a very difficult day.

Not only was work long, and tiring, and frustrating at times, but then I went to a church meeting (for Sunday School ministry) and things blew up on me. I yelled at friends, got frustrated, swore, got more frustrated, got angry, tore people down and then blew up on myself. Then, to top it all off I find out that during all of that I was making life much harder for a really good friend of mine, and hurting her.

Gah! Then, After thinking things were possibly resolved, I went to leave and was suddenly filled with all these insecurities and depression and anxiety and fear and pain and could do nothing more than scream. I got so scared that I was going to do something stupid, and so scared that I was going to hurt myself, or worse - someone else, and that I was going to do something I would regret that I spent a good fifteen minutes screaming, and crying at the top of my lungs while driving in circles in the parking lot. I wanted to go faster and faster and spin out and wreck my car, but I didn't want the responsibility of dealing with it later... I got more and more scared as I spiralled down farther and farther.... and eventually I text messaged my friends who had left me, and they prayed for me.... and though I still do not feel at peace, and do not feel 'good' I am not scared of hurting myself or others right now, or at least for tonite.

There are a lot of issues that God is still dealing with in me, and because I am stubborn at times, and because I am bad with my time, and because I am not putting much/any effort in, things are taking much longer than they could, and it is hurting more.

I am sure there is a lot of things happening over me on a spiritual level, and it is so hard to keep myself accountable and level to continue moving, and not get stuck in the mud, and not be dragging my feet. I know in my head that I need to press on, and fight fire with prayer.... but its 'doing' it thats the hard part....

For now, that's where I will leave it.... perhaps I will update after tomorrow's sunday school...

Posted at 11:15 pm by jenpuppy
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jenpuppy
British Columbia
Welcome to the blog - I hadn't updated this in awhile, so I figured I should revisit this... I don't really have a lot of time to write, but I will try to keep current...

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