Saturday, November 24, 2012

an announcement!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and recovering from the feast on Thursday. Thanksgiving is a great holiday, but it's a little weird to have a special day for eating large portions of food. I shouldn't complain though, because it's not every week that we get school off so we can shop and eat.

On a different note, I'd like to make an announcement. Some of my friends may already know, but I wanted to make it public so everybody knows what's going on in the Owens household. 

*drumroll*

We are going to be adopting a 12-year old boy from China! I'm very excited about it. We all are excited. My parents have been working through the paperwork and all for just over a year and we're finally making plans to go get him. Our whole family will be traveling to China next month, and we'll stay there for two weeks. Lord-willing we should be back in time for Christmas day celebrations. 

Many friends in town who have adopted children from China have blogged about their experience and their travels, and I hope to keep a log of our travels and adventures right here for you all to read. I'm not sure what the internet will be like in China, but if I have access, I will try my best to share pictures and stories along the way. 

This concludes my announcement. We'll be leaving in about two weeks, but until then I won't have much time to post. I have to work ahead on college applications and regular school so I don't get too behind while we're gone. Your prayers will be greatly appreciated as we continue to prepare for our new brother and as we trek across the ocean next month. 

Have a great weekend!

abby

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

reminder.

I want to remind you that we are told not to take the Lord's name in vain. It's the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). I cannot believe the number of people my own age, and people of any age really, who claim to be Christians but casually throw around the exclamation 'Oh my God.'

You may think I'm overreacting but this isn't something to be taken lightly. If you say it without thinking, you need to think. If you say it because everyone else says it, you don't seem to understand what it means to be a Christian. There is no excuse for this. It pains me to see or hear people take His name in vain.

Please, don't do it. Resist the temptation. Control your tongue.

"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; 
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin." 
(Proverbs 13:3)

abby

Friday, November 9, 2012

until next time.



Death is one of those things that puzzles me. It puzzles me because I cannot comprehend how an unbeliever survives the death of a loved one. What hope is there? None.

A few months ago, a family friend passed away. He was someone I knew well and respected, and to be honest, his death has been difficult for me. He was an older man at my church who was an artist. His wife is an artist as well, and my sisters and I used to go to their house for lessons. When I would visit, I loved watching Mr. Clark paint. I've always been fascinated by how fluidly some people can use paints, and Mr. Clark was a joy to watch. He enjoyed having an audience, too. I interviewed him once a few years ago for school because he was a military veteran. He was born and raised in Charleston and told us of how he would skip school and walk around downtown. I loved listening to his stories. Mr. Clark was a very sweet man. I also don't remember either of my grandfathers, so when I meet kind older men, they sometimes act as partial grandfathers to me, in my own eyes. Mr. Clark was one of those men, and it was very sad for me to see him go. One day when I was watching him paint, he was using his new watercolors and getting a feel for them while laying a beautiful scene of Charleston, a dock in the marsh, down on the paper. A few days later, he surprised me and gave me that painting. It now hangs on my wall right next to my bed. I never will forget Mr. Clark. I know his health was declining near the end of his life, and I take great comfort in knowing that he is in a joyous place right now, no longer in pain.

It is emotionally draining dealing with the death of friends, but the Lord has used them to work in my heart. Many young adults tend to place the thought of death in the very back of their mind. Life is all about living for the moment, don't worry about silly things like death. Sometimes I get swept up in that mindset, but I do realize there is so much more to life than having a good time with friends and living it up for your own pleasure and satisfaction.

Like I said at the beginning, being a non-Christian dealing with death is horrible. As a Christian, I do cry over the death of brothers and sisters in Christ, but I have the wonderful comfort of knowing I will see them again some day. Without that comfort, death would be yet another difficulty to deal with.

I do become sad thinking about the loss of Mr. Clark and others I've known. Thankfully though, we do not have to say goodbye to our brothers and sisters. As Christians, when death occurs, we should comfort those left on Earth, weep with those who weep, but we should take comfort in the fact that we will someday see those who died before us again. They have been released of the toils of this world and brought into the kingdom of God. Jesus paid the price on the cross, and death has been defeated. We are given the privilege to bid others farewell from this life and say, 'until next time'.

So, until next time Mr. Clark.

abby

Thursday, November 8, 2012

delight in the Lord. {cont.}

{A continuation of this post.}

I've been reading through Psalm 119, and one phrase has been repeated multiple times. Any idea what it is?

Verse 16: "I will delight in your statues; I will not forget your word."

Verse 35: "Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it."

Verse 47: ". . . for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love."

Verse 70: "... their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law."

Verse 77: "Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight."

Verse 92: "If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction."

Those are only a few examples. Most of this psalm communicates the same idea, that we can and should find delight in the law of God. I encourage and challenge you to read through Psalm 119 this week. You will not regret it.

abby

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

delight in the Lord.

Being a senior in high school has been very eye-opening for me, and I'd like to share some of those experiences here in case anyone else can learn from them too. 

One great blessing is the words of wisdom I've received from my parents and from people at my church. To be completely honest, reading my Bible in the past has not been high on my priority list. It pains to say that because I knew how much there is to learn about God and about life in there. I knew I needed to read it but I didn't. I already had so much homework and school reading to do. I didn't have time. 

If you are in that same boat I was, you need to get out of it.

My parents and my pastor have all mentioned lately that high school busyness is nothing compared to college and to starting a life on my own. If I don't make time for the Bible now, it's just going to get harder to do and easier to put off. 

So one night a few weeks ago, I decided the Lord decided that I would read my Bible every day that week. I am so thankful the Lord brought me to that point because it has been a great blessing. Reading God's word is what I look forward to during the day, it's such a great comfort. I've been reading through the Psalms and it seems like David knew my heart when he wrote many of them. 

I know many people who struggle with reading the Bible on a daily basis, and that's why I wanted to share this with whoever reads my blog. It may seem hard to fit in Bible time when life seems so busy. Yeah, it seems hard. But what else really matters? If you believe Jesus died for your sins, and you want to live your life for Him, 'not having time' is an invalid response to not studying the Word. 

If you struggle with this, pray about it. God working in our hearts is the only way it's going to happen. We cannot do anything of our own accord. While none of us are perfect, and we will never study the Bible as much as we should, we should not just ignore it altogether. 

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish." 
Psalm 1, ESV. (Emphasis mine.)


abby