26 March 2014

Rebellion

by Lisa Collihole

This is a true story about a girl who was around 17yrs old. She had recently become a Christian, and because of that she had made a new friend, who was also a Christian; but she lived three hours away.
One day the thought came to her that she could go and see her friend and stay the night, so she asked her mother, to which the answer was no. She didn't know the reason why, and she couldn't see why she shouldn't be able to go. How come her mother wouldn't let her?
She had to go to work that evening and she just kept on thinking about going to see her friend. She couldn't get it out of her mind, so she decided--"I'm going to go."
She asked a work-mate if they could swap cars--because her car was old and she thought it might not make the journey; that was all arranged.
Now she had to figure out what to say to her mum. She text messaged her to ask if she could stay at her work-mate's house for the night. She knew that wasn't what she was planning---she was lying to her mother and deceiving her.
It happened that her mum said yes, she could stay.
Now there had been a storm brewing outside, while she was working. It was raining hard and it was windy. The darkness was coming on. All she could think about was seeing her friend, who was a three hour drive away.
The storm was quite bad outside. She text her friend to let her know she was coming. It was maybe 9 or 10 o'clock at night when she finished work and set out on her drive.
The car was a little bit different to the one she had--more knobs and buttons to control things, but she figured out the lights and the wipers and set off.
It was more difficult for her to drive in those conditions--rain driving hard into the windscreen and wind blowing the car about a bit, but she continued on, with purpose and determination to get to where she wanted to be.
At one point the rain died down a bit, and there was a strange sound that kept reoccurring at set intervals. She didn't like it and didn't know what it was or where it was coming from. It made her feel a bit uneasy as she drove.
Eventually, when she looked at the rear-view mirror, she saw the wiper on the back windscreen move across and make that sound she had kept hearing--a little while later, it moved again--she hadn't realized that one of the knobs she had turned at the start of her trip was the one for the back windscreen wiper, and now she had to figure out how to turn it off in the dark as she drove---she wanted that sound to stop!
She was maybe half an hour into her drive when something really shook her.
It was slightly downhill; a sharp curve to the left; she was taking it with too much speed in the wet conditions. She put her foot to the break pedal as she turned the steering wheel, and it took her into a spin on the wet road...around and around she went until the car finally stopped spinning and was facing the right way, in the correct lane, slowly rolling down the hill. In a daze, she brought the car over to the side of the road and stopped.
She knew that road reasonably well. She knew that there was quite a drop down the hillside to the left. But she was still on the road and not down there!
She sat there crying, wondering, in shock. In her mind were the words, "Turn back! Turn back!" But here is the foolishness and sinfulness of man---she continued on her way towards her friend's house--cautiously, slowly.
About 15 minutes later, she was going through a very small town and coming up to a round-a-bout. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, there came a pack of barking dogs running straight towards the car! She slowed down a bit, but thinking she may have hit them head-on, she slowed down even more. They ran around the car, but then as she began to speed off she saw the dogs chasing after the car! Just as suddenly as they had come, they disappeared!
She knew in her heart that she should "turn back," but she kept going. "I've got this far," she thought..."I've got through those things." Her pride would not give in.
It wasn't too far along before the next obstacle came. She looked ahead, and in the light from the car she could see a dip in the road which was totally flooded right across both sides. It looked quite deep...but foolishly she drove through it, and ended up making it out on the other side of the water.
Continuing on, wanting to fulfil her desires, she passed through a town and came to the other side of it. Not far from there, there were signs and a road block saying the road was closed due to slips. Her heart sank--she really could not go through it. But look--a road went off to the right...maybe, just maybe if she drove down there it could take her past all the slips and road block! She seriously contemplated driving down there...but the realization came that there was absolutely no way to get through. She didn't know where that road went--and it probably didn't go where she wanted it to go--it would just be a waste of time.
She was defeated. She had lost. She had to text her friend with the disappointment that she could not get to her house. The only thing she could do was turn back.
The sign at the road block was the first sign about not being able to get through. But was that the first sign? Had there not been any other "signs" before that one?
Oh, yes--there had been many. But in her pride, disobedience and rebellion, she drove through them all, not fearing any consequences for her actions.
She should have obeyed the first "sign"--her mother saying no, she couldn't go see her friend. What a better state she would have been in then--but now she had about 11/2 hours of driving ahead of her to get back to her house.
She turned the car around and started the drive home. It was a strange trip back, in that it was very calm, and there absolutely no obstacles--not one! Where was the flooded road? The barking dogs? The near accidents? The strange sounds in the car? Those things were no where to be seen!
It was a silent trip back, with her heart and mind churning over and over. Past the road where it had been totally flooded; past the round-a-bout where the dogs had run straight for her; past the place where the car had spun out of control; past the places where she had heard the sound of the rear windscreen wiper; back to where she had left from.
She felt she couldn't go back to her house; she felt so ashamed and guilty to face her mother. She sent a text to her work-mate and asked if she actually could stay the night there...she was allowed.
She had pulled over at the side of the road to text, when a text message came through from her mother--"Are you ok? It's very stormy out there."
She felt a flood of guilt as she saw her mother's name on the message. Guilt from her disobedience and rebellion. Guilt that her mother might have known where she had been going and what she was planning to do. And she certainly knew that it was stormy out there!
She replied to her mother that she was ok, and then she found her work-mate's house with her own car parked outside. She went inside and explained that the road was blocked off and she couldn't get through. Then she went to bed, where she continued to think about everything that had taken place.
The girl had forsaken God by her rebellion, but He had not forsaken her. Was He not there throughout the whole journey? Was it not His mercy and loving-kindness that kept her car on the road when it went out of control? Was it not God who was in control of those dogs, and the flood and the slips on the road to make it closed? God's hand can be seen in it all. God showed that girl that she was not in control  and that she couldn't make things happen how she wanted it, no matter how hard she tried.
That girl had to decide whether she would follow her will or whether she would follow God's will.
And that girl certainly knew which one of those she should do.
That girl....was me.

Matthew 16:25
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

9 March 2014

Stay Away from Temptation


(Lessons from Potiphar's Wife)

"And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her." Genesis 39:10

Joseph was tempted every day by Potiphar's wife. So he made an important decision, which is a good lesson for us today. He didn't just refuse to commit adultery with her, he refused to even be with her.

Matthew Henry said “Those that would be kept from harm must keep themselves out of harm's way.

Another old Proverbs says, “He who keeps off the ice will not slip.”

Joseph tried to keep himself out of situations where he would be tempted. He stayed away from this woman as much as possible. He was a wise man! This is an important lesson in dealing with temptation. If something or someone tempts you to sin, if it's possible, stay away from it.

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1Thessalonians 5:22

"Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." Proverbs 4:14-15

There are 2 particular things that are a temptation to me.

1)Being covetous

I find it a temptation to buy things impulsively that I'll regret later on.

So to avoid doing that I sometimes only take money for what I have to get or I shop in a hurry. I also avoid 'shopping' when I don't need anything!

2)Wasting time
Since I am home most of the time, it's very easy for me to waste time on the internet. Then I wonder why I don't have enough time to get my work done!

For this temptation, after I've used it in the morning I sometimes turn the computer off for the day. Or if I need the internet later on, I'll switch off the internet until I need it. Then I'm not so tempted to quickly check this or quickly do this!

There is a temptation that a lot of teen girls face and that is in relationships. If you are in a relationship with a guy, there is the temptation to go too far and ruin your purity or even just to do something you'll regret later on if that person doesn't end up being your husband.
There are precautions you can take to keep from being tempted. You can avoid being alone together; take someone else along or stay in groups. My husband and I didn't take this precaution when we were getting to know each other. We didn't see each other very often as it was a long distance relationship and we also didn't talk on the phone as I don't like talking on the phone much and my husband wasn't very good at English. So we did need some time to be alone and talk in private! But we took another precaution which kept us from being tempted when we were alone. When we got engaged we decided to not touch each other until our wedding day. We stuck to that and I'm glad we did! We have no regrets.
Stop and think about the temptations you face. Are there ways you can prevent yourself from being tempted?


28 February 2014

A Sin Against God

(Lessons from Potiphar's Wife)
"But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Genesis 39:8-9

What would your answer be if you were asked to do something wrong? Would it be, “But what if we get caught? What if someone finds out? What will the consequences be?”
I like Joseph's answer!How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Joseph's biggest concern was about pleasing God and doing what was right. Joseph didn't even consider it. It was not an option. A temptation? Yes! But an option? No!
"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. "Proverbs 1:10
Don't even consider sin; it's not an option for a Christian.
Don't think, “Maybe it's not really that wrong. No one would know. That Christian did it so it can't be that bad.”
Think like Joseph How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 
Joseph feared God.
Do you?

19 February 2014

Grumble Family



 There's a family nobody likes to meet;
They live, it is said, on Complaining Street
In the city of Never-Are-Satisfied,
The River o
f Discontent beside.

They growl at that and they growl at this;
Whatever comes, there is something amiss;
And whether their station be high or humble,
They are all known by the name of Grumble.

The weather is always too hot or cold;
Summer and winter alike they scold.
Nothing goes right with the folks you meet
Down on that gloomy Complaining Street.

They growl at the rain and they growl at the sun;
In fact, their growling is never done.
And if everything pleased them, there isn't a doubt
They'd growl that they'd nothing to grumble about!

But the queerest thing is that not one of the same
Can be brought to acknowledge his family name;
For never a Grumbler will own that he
Is connected with it at all, you see.

The worst thing is that if anyone stays
Among them too long, he will learn their ways;
And before he dreams of the terrible jumble
He's adopted into the family of Grumble.

And so it were wisest to keep our feet
From wandering into Complaining Street;
And never to growl, whatever we do,
Lest we be mistaken for Grumblers, too.

Let us learn to walk with a smile and a song,
No matter if things do sometimes go wrong;
And then, be our station high or humble,
We'll never belong to the family of Grumble!
~Anonymous~

2 February 2014

What is Modesty??

(Lessons from Potiphar's Wife)
Usually I think of modesty as in the way you dress. But really, it's far more than that--it's your whole way of thinking and acting.
We're not told how Potipher's wife was dressed, but she was definitely immodest in the way she acted.
Here are a few definions of modesty that I found:
      the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities
      the quality of behaving and especially dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention
      the act of showing reserve in behavior or clothes
Immodesty is all about drawing attention to yourself. It comes out in our attitude, our actions and the way we dress.
Some girls may dress modestly and yet act in a way that says "Look at me. I want attention!"
While others may act right and yet wear clothes that draw attention to their body in the wrong way.
There is something so beautiful about modesty!
Potiphar's wife lacked this beauty. What about you??
 

28 January 2014

Blessings Come in Many Guises

When troubles come
and things go wrong,
And days are cheerless
and nights are long,
We find it so easy
to give in to despair
By magnifying
the burdens we bear--
We add to our worries
by refusing to try
To look for 'the rainbow'
in an overcast sky--
And the blessing God sent
in a 'darkened disguise'
Our troubled hearts
fail to recognize,
Not knowing God sent it
not to distress us
But to strengthen our faith
and redeem us and bless us.
~Helen Steiner Rice~