Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Was Tagged

Miss Jen tagged me to do this. I cheated on one of the rules--I used the fifth folder instead of the fourth, because the fourth was my "Clothed with Scarlet" folder and the fourth image was the header, and I didn't think that would be quite right to use that same picture. :) This is one of the many old fashion print pictures that I've saved (mostly from ebay). I like to look at them, sometimes make graphics out of them, and dream about making costumes based on them...not that I will ever make anything quite so fancy as most of them.

The rules for this tag are as follows:
1.Choose the 4th folder where you store pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder, and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag four people to do the same.
5. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)

Now...I will tag...
and anyone else who would like to participate!

Monday, January 19, 2009

No Evil Befall Thee

I was reading Psalm 91 and verse 10 stood out to me. What did it mean, exactly, that no plague would come near your dwelling? We all get sick sometimes. I figured it meant that even sickness is used by God for good in a Christian's life, but I wanted to find more information about it. So I went to my dad's library of commentaries and picked out Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David: Volume 2, Psalms 58-110. Mr. Spurgeon wrote some lovely things about these verses, and I decided to share some of it with you. The last paragraph tells it the most clearly.

'Because thou hast made the LORD which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.' - Psalm 91:10

'The Psalmist in these verses assures the man who dwells in God that he shall be secure. Though faith claims no merit of its own, yet the Lord rewards it wherever he sees it. He who makes God his refuge shall find him a refuge; he who dwells in God shall find his dwelling protected. We must make the Lord our habitation by choosing him for our trust and rest, and then we shall receive immunity from harm; no evil shall touch us personally, and no stroke of judgment shall assail our household. The dwelling here intended by the original was only a tent, yet the frail covering would prove to be a sufficient shelter from harm of all sorts. It matters little whether our abode be a gipsy's hut or a monarch's palace if the soul has made the Most High ts habitation. Get into God and you dwell in all good, and ill is banished far away. It is not because we are perfect or highly esteemed among men that we can hope for shelter in the day of evil, but because our refuge is the Eternal God, and our faith has learned to hide beneath his sheltering wing.

"For this no ill thy cause shall daunt,
No scourge thy tabernacle haunt."

It is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord; the most crushing calamities can only shorten his journey and and hasten him to his reward. Ill to him is no ill, but only good in a mysterious form. Losses enrich him, sickness is his medicine, reproach is his honour, death is his gain. No evil in the strict sense of the word can happen to him, for everything is overruled for good. Happy is he who is in such a case. He is secure where others are in peril, he lives where others die.'

Trip to Texas

This month, my mom, sister Annie, and I went to TX and stayed at my brother-in-law and sister's house. They have three adorable children, and we enjoyed our time spent with them all. The two older kids (just four and two years old) are learning well, from Bible stories to their ABCs to words like "omnipotent."

Annie with Michaella, Gabriella, and Malachi

We attended the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, as well. It was a great blessing to hear everyone praising God, and to see wholesome, inspiring films made by a wide variety of age groups.

We also were privileged to see Dean Jones, Kirk Cameron, Stephen Kendrick, and others, speaking about their films and their testimonies.

One of my favorite parts was seeing and hearing the lovely voices of the von Trapp singers (actual great-grandchildren of the The Sound of Music von Trapps). Such perfect harmony! Charlie Zahm, a folk/ballad singer, was also very enjoyable, and there was a nice solo by Mrs. Morecraft.

I saw a total of ten films throughout the festival, and each one made a favorable impression on me and nearly all gave me something of a challenge. Here's the list of the films I saw and some brief thoughts on them.

An American Adventure - The story of a WWII veteran. His gentle kindness and bravery were quite evident.

Fireproof - I had seen most of it before (just missed the first 10 minutes or so), but it was about as good the second time. It seems to be a helpful movie for marriages, and one that points to God and His saving power.

The Widow's Might - A unique sort of film, basically a drama, musical, comedy, contemporary film, and western! The message is good (helping a widow in trouble, etc.), and the music and production is quite well-done, too, especially considering it was made by mostly young people without a huge budget.

Abraham and Isaac - A dramatic and emotional portrayal of the true, Biblical story of Abraham about to sacrifice his son. Starring Dean Jones as Abraham. This helped me stand in Abraham's shoes and makes me want to have the same sort of faith. It also showed the might of God and brought me to inwardly praise Him.

Widow and Oil - This, as well, shows God’s power and love in the miracle of the widow’s oil that God multiplied.

The Rich Man and Lazarus - Based on the true story of the rich man and Lazarus, this shows that God doesn't save based on wealth, and that when a person dies it is too late to go from hell to heaven.

Pendragon: The Sword of His Father - This is rather long and not all the acting is the best, but the sets and graphics are rather impressive. The main character relies on God's help to aide him in battle, and, though determined not to back down, iscontent to leave the outcome in God's hand. He befriends a young lady whom he later comes to rescue.

Stained - This seemed strange and was intense, but quite good once I realized it was an allegory of salvation. It was professionally done, too.

Binding Faith - This is documentary about an Indian family facing persecution (the father is a pastor and signed a paper saying the soldiers could shoot him if they heard anything they didn't like). God delivered him one of these dangerous situations, and he continues to preach and plant churches in volatile areas. Very eye-opening and inspiring.

Bread Alone - This is about a Ukrainian family facing starvation under Stalin's rule. It teaches the vital importance of the Bible, as well as some history. The acting and filming impressed me, as well as the story.

Animals in the Bible - I watched this after the film festival was over, as my mom bought it. It was an interesting film on animals that are mentioned in the Bible, how we can learn from them, and some of their unique features.

I also got to meet one of the von Trapps--Melanie. She was sweet and humble, chatting with my mom and me as if she had known us for a while. She wrote her signature in my homemade autograph book and we had our picture taken with her.

I also got to meet my online friend (also a great, mission-minded photographer), Leah Cross. It was lovely to see her, though it was only for a little while.

And Uncle Leslie and Aunt Connie drove down to see us for a few hours and eat lunch with us, which was very nice.

There were several lectures at the film festival, three of which I was able to see. One was on cinematic music, one was on photography, and one was on evaluating a Hollywood movie. The last one was particularly eye-opening, as Mr. Botkin brought out various dangerous and worldly things that are not all easy to see on the surface of this particular movie (The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement).

I'm so thankful I was able to go (God gave me a respite in my cold for the three days I went to the film festival). This is a trip I shall not soon forget.