Trust and a Highlight

“Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days”.
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

Trust. That is a big one I am currently learning. I have no idea what the future holds and this requires a trust that He is capable and will provide. Not only that, He knows exactly what the future holds and is ready to tell me about it as I need to know.

So, my guy left last night. It was a slightly quiet and unusual day since I didn’t hear from him at all. I was very happy to get on Facebook and find out that he ended up getting internet while they were in Ireland-yes, I said Ireland-on their way to Iraq. I don’t think I’ll ever get over being jealous that he was in Ireland…. πŸ™‚

Fascinating!

“That’s because some sense of dignity always remains in them. They’re still human beings. But they’ve been taught to seek themselves in others. Yet no man can achieve the kind of absolute humility that would need no self-esteem in any form. He wouldn’t survive. So after centuries of being pounded with the doctrine that altruism is the ultimate ideal, men have accepted it through others. By living second-hand. And it has opened the way for every kind of horror. It has become the dreadful form of selfishness which a truly selfish man couldn’t have conceived. And now, to cure a world perishing from selflessness, we’re asked to destroy the self. Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he’d find the answer. He’d see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He’s not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander’s delusion β€” prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can’t say about a single thing: ‘This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me.’ Then he wonders why he’s unhappy. Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing. To seek joy in meeting halls. We haven’t even got a word for the quality I mean β€” for the self-sufficiency of man’s spirit. It’s difficult to call it selfishness or egotism, the words have been perverted, they’ve come to mean Peter Keating. Gail, I think the only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men. I’ve always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I’ve always recognized it at once β€” and it’s the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self- sufficient ego. Nothing else matters.”

-The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Books….

The instructions:
Look at the list and:
Bold those you have read.
Italicize those you intend to read.
Underline the books you LOVE.

Even though I’m not an adult, I’m still doing it! πŸ˜‰

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible (Have not read in completion I don’t think. Not sure really…)
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. 1984 – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (Read the first)
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (working on it)
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (I don’t get it)
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (not in completion)
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92.The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I Disagree

*Edit* I had to post what Pam wrote in the comments on this post. I think it is great! Life is not a journey where we are never going to be hurt or influenced by others. We are certain to invest ourself in people and love more than one. Sometimes that love may or may not be reciprocated. Eventually that “one” may be found. When it is, it is going to be a commitment. Sometimes there will be a feeling and sometimes there won’t be. May God give me the strength and wisdom to be patient for that person and recognize him when he arrives. πŸ™‚

“I do believe we can find unforgettable love in what we view as “chance encounters” as we can not see the fullness of the view God sees. We may “happen” upon someone without knowing that this meeting was supposed to be. We can also find love to be forgettable if it in fact was never love, or if we have displaced the person as unworthy or less important when compared to another person or event.

The blessing of love can come out of seemingly no where, from the most unexpected person(s). The act of love can be part of a God designed relationship of the “one” He has chosen for us, or from others throughout our lives that may appear to be “the special one” or “a special one” because our hearts are drawn to something about them. It is in seeking God for discernment and direction that can help us know the difference.

I have sought love, felt love, been in love, loved with condition and loved unconditionally. Each love has been unforgettable (and some just plain painful)because a part of me was attached to each experience. Even those young “puppy love” experiences remain with me, as they were part of what and who I have become today.

When we pledge our love based on the feeling, we face a “falling out of love” which steals the commitment from relationships. When we determine that we will continue to love, whether we “feel” it or not, we purpose to remain bound to another until we can “feel” the love again. We also come to a deeper understanding that love is a word of action, not just of feeling. It is this kind of love that sees us through the good and bad of being “forever” beside and with the one we marry. We find our relationship that much stronger for holding firm through times of trouble and finding our love deeper than we imagined possible.

I believe that God does have one chosen for us. I also believe that if we choose another, He can and will bring blessings to that relationship. He knows the intent of our hearts. If we are willing to be patient and wait upon the Lord to bring us to “the right one” at “the right time” then we will find a truer and deeper understanding of His Love and what He has designed for you.

Don’t throw out the other love moments in life because they are not this love. Each helps to give us a deeper knowledge and understanding of what love is, what it can be and what it should be.”

So, I was reading a book last night and came across an interesting idea. “If love is to be unforgettable, fortuities must immediately start fluttering down to it like birds to Francis of Assisi’s shoulders”. -The Unbearable Lightness of Being (A sad and depressing book about a couple’s unfaithfulness to each other, but more on this later.)

I disagree with this statement. Love IS forgettable when we can just “choose” whoever we come across or just happen upon someone. It seems that the unforgettable comes when God purposefully blesses us with meeting another person. Through His guidance, we realize this is the person He created for us to be with. Any thoughts on this?

“Love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person. Otherwise, how could people getting married promise to love each other? You can’t promise to have a feeling.”
(See full article here.)

Disappointing Book Ending

“So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky”.

Yes, the “Golden Compass” is a fantastic book, my favorite character being Iorek Byrnison. However, it had the most disappointing ending of all time. The ending should not only make me want to read the second book, it should give me a sort of satisfied feeling inside. The man and woman that were throughout the book fighting, suddenly kissing was not a good ending. The guy pleading with her to go with him to another world when he should be tragically killing her or something along those lines was ridiculous. So, maybe I don’t have good reasons for the ending bugging me, but somehow it did.

Snowmen, Shakespeare, and the Chaos Theory

I am going to-once again-going to attempt to show the snowmen Aubry and I made in our last big snow. I’ve tried several times to share the fabulous creations, but it hasn’t worked so far. Curses to the new Blogger! Anyway, mine is on the top, and Aubry’s is on the bottom. Aren’t they lovely? We used dried noodles for hair and colored water in a squirt bottle for clothes. Who ever heard of an unclad snowman…. πŸ™‚

The never failing Shakespeare has once again come through:
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
Now that is real love…the kind that comes through regardless of trials, circumstances, and appearances.

I have found a new fascinating idea. The chaos theory! Also known as the butterfly effect, this theory can be summed up in the title of a paper written in 1972: “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?” This theory asks whether or not every single action a person does or doesn’t take affects life…forever. Examples of this theory can be seen in “The Butterfly Effect” and “Jurassic Park”.
Once again, this idea seemingly brings up an interesting question of the sovereignty of God. How much sovereignty does He essentially “put into effect”? And how much do our decisions change and effect our lives and the lives of those around us? For example, say God was calling me to go into full time missions work. Because of my sinful nature, say I didn’t. Would that change the course of my life and someone else’s life or would God intervene and make things still go the way He wanted? I acknowledge that He is all powerful and completely in control, but I do wonder sometimes how much our decisions play into the course that our life takes. I mean, say my Mom hadn’t decided to go to wherever it was that she met my Dad that day like…I dunno…twenty or something years ago. Does that mean I wouldn’t be here if she had decided to stay home and watch a movie? Hmmm…. πŸ™‚

Oh, and check out the new blogs on the sidebar. One is the fabulous Bonnie’s blog, and another is a newly discovered blog from the Boundless magazine. I have been reading their articles, but I did not know they had a blog. Also, see the blog of Markus Wolf who is a missionary in Ukraine who does a lot of work with kids.

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Books of 2006

Talk about college life shooting a hole in your reading habits. For example, in 2006, I read 24 books. (That is shockingly pathetic and sad.) In the first half of 2005, I read 50. In the first half. That makes me sad. Well, I guess that is what comes of reading textbooks instead of good books. I will put my list and rate them even though I am ashamed. πŸ™‚

1. “The Last of the Mohicans”-James Fenimore Cooper3 stars-Why is this a classic? It is relatively interesting, but so unbelievable. These society girls are kidnapped by Indians literally 4 or 5 times and never die.

2. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”-Mark Twain-4 stars-Now that I look at this I realize I actually listened to this on tape. Ha ha….Well, it was a very good book anyway. One always hears about it, and I thought I should actually read it instead of watching all the renditions Disney seems to do.

3. “Fahrenheit 451”-Ray Bradbury-4 stars-This is a 1984-esque book about, well, books. A life without books…Something to fight against!

4. “Something Wicked This Way Comes”-Ray Bradbury-3.5 stars-I still haven’t seen the Disney movie they-I assume-based off of this. It was another off beat R. Bradbury book, given high marks because of the amount of quotes I put in my commonplace notebook out of it. Very intersting words and language!

5. “The Historian”-Elizabeth Kostova-4 stars-I generally don’t read the New York Times Bestsellers, becauase they usually disappoint. However, it was about vampires, and I went through an interest in vampires stage, therefore I picked it up. Excellent story that kept me up pretty late reading!

6. “Frogs”-Ellin Beltz-4 stars-This was a non-fiction book about frogs with GREAT pictures. Here I learned that all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. πŸ™‚

7. “Angela’s Ashes”-Frank McCourt-3 stars-Maybe I’m just insensitive, but this book only made me mad. First, the family just lets the Dad steal over and over. To top it off, the star of the book struggling to succeed in life only ends up becoming like his Dad. What a disappointing ending.

8. “The Making of a Woman Vet”-Sally Haddock-4 stars-Odd book choice for many I’m sure! However, it was well written and gave me a lot of insight into vet school and the life of a vet.

9. “Smith of Wooten Major”-Tolkien-4.5 stars-Tolkien never fails. Great short story!

10. “Farmer Giles of Ham”-Tokien-4.5 stars. Again, Tolkien never fails. Great short story!

11. “Out of the Silent Planet”-C.S. Lewis-4 stars-It has taken me FOREVER to finally read these, and as I am still on the third of the trilogy, it has taken FOREVER to finish. It isn’t as if they are not good books…I think it is the amount of philosophy and theology in them. I suppose you could call it easy deep reading. Definantly reccommended, especially for science fiction fans.

12. “Cannery Row”-Steinbeck-3 stars-One of the first Steinbeck books I wasn’t thrilled with. Going to Cannery Row over the summer gives it higher ratings though. πŸ™‚

13. “Dark Tower and Other Stories”-C.S. Lewis-4.75-All I can say is read these books. They are absolutely amazing. I wanted to copy the whole stories and put them in my commonplace book! Just beware before reading “The Dark Tower”. It is unfinished. I held off from reading it for a while, couldn’t handle it, and gave in. The unfinished story plagued me for days.

14. “Perelandra”-C.S. Lewis-4 stars-Space trilogy continued. Ransom is my hero!

15. “Brave New World”-Aldous Huxley 2 stars-This should NOT be a classic. I only gave it two stars since I put a portion in my commonplace book. Bad writing, and after “1984” this was pathetic.

16. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”-J.K. Rowling 2 stars-Surprised? I didn’t really enjoy the books. I didn’t understand all the raving.

17. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”-J.K. Rowling 2 stars-Yet I continue.

18. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”-J.K. Rowling 2 stars-I finally stopped after this one.

19. “12 Trademarks of Great Literature”-J.F. Baldwin I go to a bible study this guy teaches and bought it at a worldview camp. Collection of essays, stories, etc. If you can’t hear his lectures, try the book out.

20. “Night”-Elie Wiesel 4 stars-Well written book about World War II concentration camps.

21. “East of Eden”-Steinbeck 4.75 stars-This one beat “Grapes of Wrath”!! Considering how much I love that book, this one must be pretty good. It was set in World War II.

22. “Marley and Me”-Grogan 5 stars-I admit it. I’ll say it. It made me cry. I never cry. I probably did, because I had just put my dog to sleep before reading this, and this is about the world’s best dog-who was really Chuck. Anyway, it was a really good book! Oh, yeah, and about crying, that is a secret, okay? πŸ˜‰

23. “The Red Pony”-Steinbeck 3 stars- It took me a while to get that this was a collection of two short stories. I am finishing the book, wondering when the two are supposed to connect. Suddenly, oh….They were relatively good. I like Steinbeck’s novels much better!

24. “The Picture of Dorian Gray”-Oscar Wilde 3.5 stars-I have been waiting ages to read this book. It was fairly good, but not as good as I had made it in my mind.