Posts tagged ‘God’

August 18, 2011

Bee’s Knees

via Pinterest (original link no longer exists!)

Amen. Seriously.

I came across this quote a few weeks ago and I ran across it again while perusing through my Pinterest boards. It really struck a cord with me. I think some background info would be helpful to explain why this hit home…

Year round I work with preschool aged children with special needs; this summer I worked at a summer camp for children with special needs. It’s called Camp Bonaventure and it’s with the Between Friends Club of Calgary (a little promo in there!) and it’s been the most eye-opening, rewarding, selfless, heartbreaking, tiring 8 weeks of my life. My summer consisted of making these kids smile and feel like they finally belong in a society that still chooses to reject them for who they are. Some of my favourite kids I have ever met, I met this summer. They had disabilities that left them blind, delayed, with limited mobility or functioning at a toddler’s level.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg for many of these kids. It has resounded with me in such a powerful way and I loved my summer.

However; I also worked my butt off every day for these kids.  I was exhausted at the end of my day – I was physically, mentally and emotionally drained from my day. We dealt with things like changing diapers, chasing kids who liked to run, aggressive behaviours and reasoning with many kids who didn’t have the ability to reason. But it was all worth it and it will always be worth it.

How does this quote relate? I made a commitment to myself, to these kids and to my team to serve wholeheartedly and without fail this summer. I said to myself “I am here to make a difference and to work as hard as I can for someone else’s benefit.” I set a goal for myself to put my needs and wants second to these kids.

I promised to work hard.

How many of us pray for things from God, but fail to realize that He still expects us to work at our goals in order to succeed in His name? Our expectations become askew – we expect that since we prayed for God to make something happen, it will suddenly happen for us. I know I do this. I think everyone’s guilty of it. The part we forget sometimes is that He expects us to work hard at everything we do. Everything. We must work hard in order to earn what we ask for and in order to earn what we want.

“Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food; 
   play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.”

– Proverbs 28:19 (The Message)

Clearly we don’t all work in a garden. I mean that would be a cool job, but not everyone gets to pick tomatoes for a living! This verse lays it out perfectly for us: Word hard, you’ll be rewarded. Be lazy, no rewards. These rewards tie right into the prayer requests we have for God.

A tangible example I can think of is if you needed a car. Yours broke down and had to make the trip to the mass car grave. You shed a tear. You pray and ask God to provide a new car for you, for it to be the right price for you and not a total clunker. 

Now you have two options: Option 1) Keep praying and asking for God to provide a car for you. All the while you borrow you parents car and make no effort to look for one. When your parents ask when you’ll get a car you respond with “I’ve been praying about it.”  Option 2) You keeping praying to the big G, but you also hit the newspaper, Kijiji, Autodealer, used car dealerships, ads anywhere and go and look at 10 different cars. 

Another example? You get up in the morning and pray to God that he provides you with energy for the day, and to have a good day. You get to work late, slack off all morning while you tool around on the Internet, take an extra long lunch break, spend the afternoon tooling around some more and talking to your partner on the phone for 30 minutes and leave early. And you eat that coworker Joe’s last piece of birthday cake too.

Does any of this seem totally ridiculous? Both examples probably sound extreme, but I have h0nestly witnessed situations like these and have been guilty of them too.

I personally want to be known by my character and that includes my work ethic. So shouldn’t we honor God by being hard workers and putting in 100% every day? I really feel that we are called to be diligent and hard workers every day we head to work and in any aspect of our lives.

So Gordon B. Hinckley had it right: Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work!

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

(p.s Sorry if this post is incoherent and sort of jumbled; it’s late and it’s been a while since I’ve written a post. I feel like I’m getting rusty here.)

January 30, 2011

Tangent from church.

The sermon today at church was so great. The pastor is doing a series called Motivation Killers: Why we wander. And today’s topic was When Fear Takes Over. From that sermon, the pastor presented us with what I think was a little nugget of gold!

He referenced Hebrews 11:13 – 16, which I have not read (or at least cannot recall reading) and took the time to look it up this afternoon. To save you from googling Hebrews or flipping pages, here is it:

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

The previous posts are accounts of different servants of God and how by their faith, they did great things by God. But what struck me about this verse was the idea that all these servants (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, etc) were “still living by faith when they died (vs 13)”  and they admitted “they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” (vs 13). It just really hit home the idea that when we are here on earth, that we are not of this world – we’re aliens. (We should let all the UFO experts let them know that it’s us that are trying to invade the earth!)

We’re foreign, and the passage goes on to say “People who say such things show they are looking for a country of their own.” (v 14) These servants of God had their eyes focused on heaven, not on earth and it’s reflected by their admittance that they were strangers on earth.  The entire time they were here they knew that this was not the “country” they wanted to be a part of. Enoch and Noah had their sights set on the eternal realm instead of the dusty ground in front of them.

“Instead they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one” (vs 16) Can anyone else relate to this feeling? I know I do. (Especially after reading some of Randy Alcorn’s works – he paints an amazing picture of what heaven could be like!)  I feel like this world is so temporary, and lately my thoughts of my material needs have become so insignificant. Like, do I really desperately need a new pair of jeans? Is my home really not nice enough? How badly do I need more cookie sheets? I’ve just been seeing things in such a different perspective, that this passage hit home for me. Yes – this world is temporary. And I am a stranger here – I want to be a stranger! I want to look around and think “This is not my home – mine is waiting for me with my heavenly father.”

What a thing to look forward to! I just can’t imagine not having something better than this lifetime to look forward to. If this life was all I was living for, I’m sure my depression would be more depressing! This life is great, but it is going to be a shadow in comparison to eternity with God.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

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January 24, 2011

Inspirations.

I wanted to talk about the title of my blog and where the phrase comes  from. I’m sure everyone’s heard a variation of it before, the  only one I  can think of is “Gold refined by the fire.” I think it’s fairly common in  Christianity because we often use it to describe going through hardship in  order to come out more Christ-like on the other side. That we become  better versions of ourselves as we endure our trials and hardships.

The particular phrase “Real gold fears no fire.” came to me from a book by  Christian author Randy Alcorn titled “Safely Home.” It’s used frequently  by one of the protagonists, a Chinese man, throughout the book. This  book was life altering for me. It truly was. To give an idea of what the  book is about (without giving away the plot!) I’ll tell you that it’s based  around the persecuted church in China and the friendship of a wealthy  American businessman and a poor Chinese locksmith.

All I can say is that when you read this book, during and afterwards, all  you can think is “That is the type of Christian I want to be.” Seriously, I  kid you not, that is all I thought about for days. The Chinese protagonist, Quan, is the kind of Christian I think we all want to be. He has a true servants heart and is willing to die for Christ. How many of us in our comfortable North American homes are ever going to face persecution that involves death? Sure we rant about how we can’t pray in schools or keep a Bible on our desk at work, but how many of us would truly be willing to lay our lives on the line for our God? And to look past  material goods of this world and focus on serving our God? I’m guilty of focusing on material things.. clothing, kitchen accessories, decorating my home. I get caught up in this world that I lose focus on serving God first and foremost, and forsaking worldly wants because they just don’t matter as much as I want them to.

At the end of the day, what have I done for God? How have I served him? Have I put myself on the line for him? I’m ashamed to say that most days the answer is: nothing and no. I hide in my comfort zone and refuse to speak out for our Father and refuse to do anything that would cause others to think poorly of me, let alone be persecuted.

Quan is the kind of Christian I want to be. I want to serve whole-heartedly and to use my time here to serve God because this lifetime is fleeting and all the items I own and all the opinions of others do not matter. I am here to serve, not to be served. To get back to my main point, the saying “Real gold fears no fire” resonates with me. If I am truly a woman of God and here to serve him and to give my life to him, then I shall not fear any trials set before me. My faith is in him and I will only exit the fire as a better servant.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo