I feel sad today. Sad about the election results…but I’ll be honest. Had Romney won I would be sad too. This was my year of “throwing away” my vote. But is it throwing away your vote when you are voting based on conviction? I don’t think so. I could not have voted for either candidate and been ok with voting for a lesser of two evils…to me they are both not the men I would choose to have in office. But God is in control. I read Psalm 37 this morning and I cried. I cried because I was reminded that our God is in control. He is in control of everything, both big and small. He has allowed this country to become the way it is. He loves his people and no matter what we might face in this world, “The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” -Psalm 37: 39-40.
Monday I was driving back from Elinor’s 1 year appointment and was listening to Moody radio. Chris Fabry was speaking to the man who is over Voice of the Martyrs. He was telling different stories of different believers throughout the world. He spoke of how Christianity is spreading rapidly throughout the middle east, India and Africa. How these people are persecuted, they are tortured, killed, imprisoned for their faith but the gospel continues to spread. Like a wild fire it cannot be stopped. He told a story of a woman in Iran. She prayed and prayed to Allah that he would reveal himself to her. She said she would not sleep until he showed himself to be true…when she finally did fall asleep Jesus came to her in a dream and said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” The next day she went to work and a Christian spoke to her about Jesus (whom she knew nothing about) and shared with her this exact verse. She became a believer. My hair was standing on end the whole time I listened to him speak. The precious and beautiful reality of our God…As this country becomes more hardened, more anti-God it is so good to know that He is at work throughout this world. That we have many brothers and sisters in Christ. We may be separated by vast waters, by language, we may look different but we all serve the same God and we will all spend eternity praising and serving Him in heaven. We serve a good, good God and his message cannot be stopped. Like Martin Luther’s song A mighty Fortress, “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still.”
All this being said I would ask your prayers for my brother Tim at www.challies.com. He is travelling to India today and staying there for a week. He will be teaching there and has the amazing opportunity to meet these brothers and sisters in Christ that are so far away. Pray for his safety and protection.
Finally I thought I would do something a little lighthearted. My mom nominated me a while ago for a Liebster award. I thought today would be a perfect day to answer her questions…
1. What is your cultural background?
I was born in Toronto, Canada and lived in Ontario until I was 14. Then we made the big move to Atlanta, Georgia in the late summer of 1999. Even though I have lived here almost the same amount of time I lived in Canada I would say my canuckness cannot be taken from me. My parents after all, are Canadians and they raised me…so in a sense I am a strange mixture of culture. A mutt, for lack of a better word.
2. What are words that would describe your family of origin?
Pale and freckly. Anglo-Irish…little bit of french (thus the name Challies). I think there is also some dutch mixed in too. Unfortunately I do not know nearly as much as I should about my family or origin. My mom and brother Andrew know anything and everything about our relatives. I do know that there were many talented oil painters on my dad’s side of the family…thus a beautiful collection of art that we all have. My grandfather was the Chief Justice of Quebec. My great Uncle George founded Upper Canada Village (you Canadians know what I’m talking about). My mom did not grow up in a believing family but her dad’s dad was a minister and the heritage of his faith has been carried on in my mom and my aunt. A little blurb from my mom’s blog about her grandfather.
“He sits in the corner and smiles at us, but cannot converse. He seems to appreciate us, but then – he IS deaf. Still, he leads us in family prayers each Saturday morning. That is what I know of him. He prays for me by name, individually, every Saturday, even though he doesn’t hear his own words. I am much closer to my other grandfather. I know him. He actively loves me. But Grandfather’s prayers won.”
3. In a few words, what is your first memory?
I have two first memories…both to do with kindergarten. I am going to my first day of school. I am frightened. My mom meets another woman with a little girl my age. The girls name is Nicole. They sit us down with a book about Snow White. We sit together, we point to different pictures…we laugh. That girl became my very best friend…she is like my sister. A dear sister. We are worlds apart with distance, with religion, with lifestyle but I love her always and forever.
My other “first” memory. I am walking to kindergarten tightly holding my dad’s hands. I have a little blue rain coat on. I am stepping over puddles and worms. I love the feeling of being just me and my daddy…He laughs at the way I pronounce my words with a little lisp. He can laugh and it doesn’t bother me. I am very sure he loves me and my little lisp.
4. What did you enjoy most about school?
Oh goodness. Not a good question for me. I was never a very motivated of dedicated student…something I regret. I did apply myself to History, English and French because I loved all three. History was probably my absolute favorite subject. I was the girl who watched every movie ever shown in class, while all my classmates had a little siesta…In college I loved my Old Testament class taught by Dr. Krabbendam. He will forever be my personal hero of faith…an amazing man who has touched many, many students. Somehow he even made Leviticus and all its rules/laws interesting and beautiful to learn about!
5. Where did you meet your spouse?
I happened to have just joined a website I had forever looked down upon. Myspace.com. My husband-to-be happened to have a little alert that showed him brown-eyed, brown-haired, semi-tall girls in the area. Apparently I fit his physical criteria and so he contacted me…I actually went on a blind date (with escape plan already planned) with him and it was love at first sight. He had a fancy sports car that made me shudder (I was afraid he’s be one of those guys). A few months later he sold that car to afford my engagement ring. We were married in less than a year. my prayer then and my prayer now, is that God will give us many years together on this earth to love Him, to love each other and to raise our children to believe in the one true God.
6. How would you spend Saturday if you had no responsibilities?
No responsibilities would mean no children…and that would be sad BUT let’s say they were at their grandparents for the day…. I would wake up around 8 because that is sleeping in for me. I would read my bible without interruption, I would journal for as long as I wanted. I would drink ridiculous amounts of hot coffee. I would read blogs for as long as I felt like and then I would go for a long, long run. I would not have to make any meals, clean any part of the house, or do any laundry. Maybe I would even go shopping for endless hours, have money to actually buy stuff. I would eat a delicious dinner out. I would spend the evening watching The Middle with Justin…pretty much, I would be selfish. (sorry if you were hoping for a super-spiritual answer)
7. What historical character would you most like to meet?
If I am thinking historical biblical. Abraham for sure. The man of faith I admire most in the bible. It would be such an honor to meet the father of both the physical Israel and spiritual Israel. If I am thinking just historical…the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. I would also like to solve the mystery once and for all. Did she or didn’t she survive her execution?
8. What historical character would you most like to delete?
King Leopold of Belgium. He exploited the Congo and was behind mass genocide and mutilation of its people. All for the sake of ivory and rubber. A horror story…worse than Hitler and yet, unknown.
9. What fictional character would you most like to meet?
Any of the sisters in Little Women. I will forever love that book.
10. If you could choose to live in any country for a year, which would it be?
Hmmm…I think I would live in England. I would love to tour the countryside, see the ancient castles and explore all the history…always comes back to history with me!
11. If you could choose any century to live in for a year, which would it be?
There isn’t a century I would choose to live in. People are people. They are always wicked and they are always actively destroying God’s truth. But if I had to choose I would love to live during the time of the First Great Awakening. An exciting time where the truths of the Bible were not only bringing people to Christ but also changing the way people thought politically, etc. And maybe, just maybe I would be able to hear Jonathan Edwards preach.