Saturday, April 28, 2007

Friday Night

Last night we went to the Sq's house for a surprise party for Nash. I started out not sure if that was really where I should be, but by the end I was so thankful God had brought me there. At first Mrs. Sq was serving biryani to everyone, and then Mr. Sq put on some music and people were getting up and dancing... some of it was funny. Then the music stopped and we began to sing - praise and worship songs, veggietales, etc. Richard suggested we play a game, so he organized a game of Assassin (Murder She Winked, Wink Murder, same thing...). We got tired of that after a few rounds and played Bus Stop (freeze frame, park bench) for around 2 hours. I wish I had had a video camera. Most of the time we were laughing hysterically. Especially when Nathan and Steven were up together. The last game we played was signs, which Cait won. Most of us went outside, and I joined in the basketball game, but eventually I got too tired to play anymore, so I went inside. I wanted to find Rachel, and found her in Nash's room, with a whole bunch of others. Kenneth was playing the guitar, Wes was drumming on the little drum, and they were singing, praying and sharing. I wish I had been there for more of it... but even that little bit... it made me cry. I see in myself something I don't see in most of my friends in the states - since Desert Challenge, God had filled me with a fire for Him. And I want to see that in my friends in the states. I want to be the one to bring that fire to them. My sister and I prayed and talked for the longest time, and then I prayed on my own for a while. My friend and I talked a bit about that on the ride back home, and when she had been sitting and praying while I was, God had shown her a passage in the Bible, Psalms 71, and we were talking about that... it's one of my favorite passages now. But anyways, I got home, and late as it was - it was midnight by the time I got to bed - I just opened up my Bible and prayer journal... and read and prayed. I had gotten a book called "A Treasury of Miracles for Teens" out of our Church library, and I'd read a chapter of that and pray and read some of my Bible... and then do it again. It was one a.m. when I finally closed my Bible and went to sleep. I only got 6 hours of sleep last night. But God's giving me strength to make it through today... and it was the first time I'd ever really and truly sensed His prescence in a place where I was alone. We'd all sensed it earlier, when we were having a worship session... but before then it was only when I was with a bunch of others that I really felt on fire for God... and now it was when I was alone, also. God is absolutely incredible... I was hesitant to go to the party that night, and at first I was starting to regret going until we started singing earlier on in the day, and then played games... but when I was really sure that was where God wanted me to be was when we were in that little room, all singing and praying.

Oh God, you're an awesome God you reign, from Heaven above with wisdom power and love, my God you're an awesome God...


Psalm 71
In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Resecue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
You are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you. I have been as a portent to many,
But you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day. Do not cast me off in the time of old age,
forsake me not when my strength is spent. For my enemies speak concerning me,
those who watch for my life consult together and say,
"God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him."
O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt.
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
Of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth gou have taught me,
And I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me,
Until I proclaim your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again;
From the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfullness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sugar and Spice

Well, Caitlyn and I are back from Sugar and Spice. Excepting the heat, it was a rather relaxing time and I didn't get overload of learning new things. Before the first session, we had a quiz on cars... that was fun. Lisa Welkner (JW's wife) talked on our identity, and that it should be an identity in Christ and not the world - Christ is eternal, the world is not. People will let you down, God will never let you down. Also, think about the big picture - it's not just about yourself. (Esau and Jacob... Esau only thought of how hungry he was). When you're struggling with your identity, make sure you're living in obedience to God. Sink into the word. Let your life overflow with thankfulness, and don't let the world deceive you. Only God can make us whole.

My first small group session was on Friendship. Basically we brought it down to this: a friendship is investing in someone's life, a relationship that involves encouragement, love, trust, and acceptance. A good friend should be a Christian who knows you well enough to correct you and help you become closer to God. Jesus is our best friend, he always gives you the right directions, they're always true. Friends can influence you in a bad way.
Pray for a good friend. Make a list of characteristics you look for in a good friend. When there's no one else with you, trust Jesus. Guy friends need to help you look to Jesus and help you grow in the Lord, too. Friends should value your character.

After lunch (during which I found I can eat a fairly large apple in 5 minutes...), we had our second session, taught by Fiona. Her talk was on being a godly woman in an ungodly world. She started with the question "What makes us want the things that you want/don't have?" The answers we came up with: sin, discontentment, striving for perfection, and pride. The world offers many things that can be stumbling blocks, but if we focus on what God has to say about that, then it makes it harder for Satan to get at us. The media's message: we can make you better. God's message: you are my Child. You are valuable, important, and you have a purpose.
Learn your weaknesses so you can strengthen them. If you have trouble with comparing yourself to those you see in beauty magazines, stay away from them, etc... Focus on Jesus.

My second small group session was on emotions. We ran out of time, but the little we did do was encouraging. God filled us up with things to make us who we are, and everyone's different. Stuff in life is sweet and sour.
Jesus knows what we're going through (Matthew 21:12-13, John 11:35, Luke 22:41-44). He was human. God doesn't get intimitated by our troubles.
So what do I do with these feelings?
Psalm 61:2 = God says 'Come to ME' Go to Him, pour out your heart to Christ. You could go anywhere... don't. Come to God.
Romans 12:15 - Community. After God, go to trusted friends. Be open with them. Be sensitive to them if they are down.
Ephesians 4:26-27: You can be angry, but do not sin in your anger. Have Christ-like anger.
Don't withdraw when you're hurt. Instead, communicate. Withdrawing can make you overboil. Instead...
1. Choose a time when you're calm.
2. Tell them how you feel. "I..." Be short and specific.
Be prepared to say sorry.
Coping strategy - what do you do when you're angry?
Response - with thinking.
Reaction - without thinking, natural reaction.
Anger rules: Don't hurt yourself, don't hurt others, don't break anything.
Take deep breaths. Do something you life.
Get rid of ungodly beliefs and replace them with godly beliefs. Write them down for 40 days.
People can need help when...
- There are changes in their sleeping, eating, and behaviour/acedemics.
-They withdraw
- They think bad thoughts about themselves.

Our third main session was taught by Amy... it was on being a woman after God's own heart.
Who demonstrates being a woman after God's own heart? And why?
Make Proverbs 31 your guide. But don't just have the accomplishments. You need character, you need to fear the Lord. the bread on the sandwich. It's not about the doing, it's about the be.
What am I running after? Where am I going?

1. God delights in you. Remember who you are. Isaiah 43:1 We are His. Remember that.
2. We need to delight in God. Put Him before everything else. Rejoice in your relationship with Him. Enjoy spending time with Him.

Take-down was fun... we were singing Christmas carols as we rolled up the cloth from across the ceiling, and were sliding across the floor in our flip-flops. In the bus on the way back, we ate cookies and bread, and then Jen, Ashlea, and I sang all the way through 99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall... all the way down to 0.

'Twas fun.

"I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, you're all this heart is living for."


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Biology Dissection Conversation...

Well, since people want me to post something, this is our conversation while dissecting the frog the other day... daddy did it while Caitlyn and I watched (Though the frog would've been a really fun one to do... the fish squirted water everywhere and we couldn't find the brain...).

Daddy: This is the part that they usually eat...
Caitlyn: Eeew....
Me: Poor froggy.

Daddy: Shall we cut open his stomach and see what he ate last?
Caitlyn: Eew, no.
Me: Maybe it's a fly...
Caitlyn: What, you see one?

Daddy: See, there are his intestines and I think that's his heart right there.
Caitlyn: Ooooooh... ewwwwwwwwwwww....
Me: Poor froggy.

And that's basically how it went.

Saturday Cait and I are going to Sugar and Spice, a girl's conference out in Sharjah. More then.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Not much new...

Not much is going on here... I invited Chris to youth group, and basically I got the "nope, sorry, not much of a religious guy, but thanks for inviting me."
Would you pray for him with me? That God would open his eyes to see the truth and everything?

Other than that... Squirt's doing a skit next week at Oasis, if we can pull it together in time. We had a Waterworks meeting today after Volleyball, it was a really encouraging and fun time. The Surge team has been having fundraisers... so far they've raised 1,100 dirhams from running Sherbeck's Cafe after Church today. (Surge is the name for the missions trip to India this summer... Cait and I can't go cuz we'll be in the states then).

Bass seems to be nowhere 'cept PMI, and their slot for the time we're there is full. I think next week I'll just go in and look at the books and basses they have there, and buy stuff and teach myself. Seems to be the best option at the moment.

I haven't been writing all that much lately, not writer's block, just a bit of down time with it. I've been reading, some, though. Mostly G.A. Henty. At the moment I'm reading "The Young Carthaginian" to go with my history, and I'm almost done with it.

Only one month and 4 days till we get out of school... 'cept for bio. That goes 2 weeks after we get back from the states.

Not much else to say.

How deep the Father's love for us,
how vast beyond all measure
That he should give his only son,
to make a wretch his treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
the Father turned his face away
As wounds which mar the chosen one,
bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross,
my sin upon his shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held him there
until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life;
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything:
no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ;
his death and resurrection
Why should I gain from his reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart:
his wounds have paid my ransom

Sunday, April 8, 2007

He is Risen!

The sunrise service was at 5:30, so mommy woke me up around 4:30, and I got ready to go and played the piano a bit before we left at 5. When we got to the beach, a bunch of people were already there, and they were just starting the service. We sang for a while, and someone talked, then we ate breakfast – lots of yummy food! Milli, Caroline, and I were running around talking and playing/wading in the water. We couldn’t go very deep because none of us had swimsuits, but we had fun splashing each other. Ashley and Meg came home with us, and we got ready to go to Dreamland, I practiced guitar and piano, and then we left. On the way there we listened to part of “Pilgrim’s Progress” on tape, and rested some. Dreamland was fun… we were the first people there, but by the time we were all ready to swim and go on the rides the H’s, Dennis, Dipak, and Jarod were already there. Sarah and I went on most of the slides and rides together, and Esther was with us for a while. We headed over to Hippo Island/the volcano for a while and were running around and swimming in there. Philip and Dipak were trying to scare us by saying there was a crocodile in the cavern pool. We were getting out when the Bs, Lisa, ZoĆ«, Cs, and Nathan arrived, and we headed back towards the black hole and did all those rides over again, then went in groups down the 5slides, racing to the top and racing down. Nathan and Isaac were wearing their inner tubes around their waists as they ran up, and were bumping into others to try to knock us over. We played tag in the “Jacuzzi” for a while, which was really fun. I only got tagged once, because the guys were being unfair and only going after certain people. I tagged Nathan, though. We got out and waited for an hour or more to order and get our food, then ate. When we finished eating, we went back towards the black hole and dragons (near the beginning of the park). The dragons were great… they were a ride I had gotten really scared of last time because I didn’t know what to expect so got really scared; they’re dark, fast, steep, twisty, and small. But this time I went on them again and loved it… went down all 4 of them. Sarah and I went off and did a few rides by ourselves and then went around the lazy river once. We got out and found the others playing tag again at Hippo Island, so we joined in. We eventually ended up playing that if you were tagged, you were it with everyone who had been tagged already, and last person to be tagged was it for the next round. After taking a few pictures, we walked back to the lockers to change. On the way my wristband was really sticking to me and I couldn’t tear it off, so Nathan suggested biting it… I didn’t bite it off at that point, but later on I did. It was a fun day… I’m really worn out, though. Most of the rides were quite high, so you climb up tons of steps to get to them. And then I was chasing people around Hippo Island a whole lot playing tag, and just swimming around.

Good fun, all of it. Check my art and writing blog... I got some new stuff up there. I think it's mainly artwork.
God bless!


Saturday, April 7, 2007

Desert campout... of a sort.

With Lisa and Zoe in from England, we went to the beach last Sunday (Palm Sunday, basically), which was loads of fun, and then out to the desert for a camp-out type thing this weekend. Kristen B. rode in the car with us on the way out, and at that point it was only Mr. B, Kristen, the R kids and a few others. Our car was crammed full with our 6-man tent, 3-man tent, 6 sleeping bags, 6 pillows, 2 boxes of food, my cloak, our backpacks, water, etc... so we only had 1 extra seat on the way into the desert, cuz the S's took some of our pillows in their car, because they weren't staying the night. Nathan drove the dune buggy out, which was really cool, and while we made camp, Mr. B and Mr. S drove the S's around in it for a while. Nathan, Daniel, Kristen and I larped for a while, and kind of explored. When it was dark Nathan and Carl went with Mr. B to go lead Lisa and the other girls (Rachel, Zoe, Sharon, Cait, and Leslie) in to our campsite. While they were gone, we stargazed, told Greek myths, and ate... they got back and there was hardly any food left. Rachel and I talked about stories again, and then we watched Nathan and Carl play chess. We went to bed - Rachel wanted me to sleep with her - or, got into our tent. We ended up talking until Midnight, but only because we couldn't sleep at all. In the morning, we ate pancakes, packed up a little, and then divided up for duning and riding in the dune buggy. I stayed behind to ride in the dune buggy, and Nathan took Carl out first, but then they came back and I went. We almost had to have a push start, because the engine wouldn't go, but then it did so we went off... I absolutely LOVED it. I got to drive some, which was wonderful, and I had a lot of fun doing that, even though over the noise I couldn't make out much of what Nathan was saying... "Clutch? or did he say accelerate? Well, I'll press the clutch first, if that's what he wants, he'll not say anything, otherwise he'll say something else..." was basically how it went. Then we got out to swap places so he could drive me back to the campsite, but it wouldn't start again. So we unbuckled, got and pushed for about ten secons, then when it was going a bit fast, we hopped in, buckled as quickly as possible, and he put it into gear and accellerated... it didn't start. He motioned for me to unbuckle, but then tried again and it worked, so we went back to the camp. On the way back we saw a really really cool lizard, well, he darted across our path, but yeah. Then we were just hanging around and talking for a while before the people came back from duning, and while Nathan took Lisa out in the dune buggy, then we packed up the rest of the camp and a few people went driving. The dune buggy ran out of oil, so Mr. B had to go and fill up the oil tank, but then we caught up with them and drove to the gas station where we put air back in the tires and got ice cream... good fun, all of it. I just wish I could have had a second go on the dune buggy, but there will be other times, as long as the guys don't break it like they usually do.

Well, see ya, eh.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Biology Bandits!

Well, today we had our first biology dissection that worked! yay! 'Course, we opened the bag that held the crayfish, and it reeked... so Nate and Candace ran upstairs and got Caitlyn and I bandannas, which we wore while we did it, thus the "Biology Bandits." Daddy and I did most of the dissection, Caitlyn recorded everything. Other than the smell, it was fun. These are the pictures...