Monday, October 29, 2012

The Power of Prayer

Talking with my Dad has always been special to me. I can remember many specific discussions that we’ve had over the years while driving, hiking, or studying the Bible. Our personalities are so similar and we think so much alike that we often communicate with few or no words at all. Sometimes the most meaningful things are said without words. If unsure or afraid, I gain a world of courage by simply tucking my arm into his. A smile or nod could send me to the moon and back, and the pain in his rebuking eyes cuts deep. He’s the only person in the world who has successfully and consistently cured me of hiccups with a simple hug.

And yet, the beauty of our relationship fades in comparison with the love and care that my heavenly Father has shown to me. With open arms He has adopted me, and with divine love He cares for me.

When I have no words to express what I’m experiencing, I pour my heart to my Father in humble surrender. As struggles spill out before Him, He tenderly takes up my burdens and carries them on His own back. Patiently He points out my mistakes and offers me a new heart and a new start. He’s always listening and never too busy to help. No matter where I go, He’s always right by my side and He’s constantly caring for me. Just today, He showed His love to me in a beautiful way.

Ruth left for Austria and Portugal today (she has to visit some family and do a continuing education course). It was hard for us to see her go, and I know it was extremely hard for her to leave too; especially because of Miguel. The way he clung to her and sobbed into her chest broke my heart, and I’m not his mom. I could see agony written across her face as the driver took her to the airport. Paulo stayed calm and encouraging, saying that the time would go fast and soon Ruth would be back, but by the time Ruth had left and it was time for Paulo to go back to work, Miguel was still crying. How in the world was I supposed to get a little boy who’s crying for his mom to finish the school day? I almost gave up right there. Thankfully the Lord was with me.

Miguel had calmed down a little by the time we got up to the school room, but once he had flopped down on the reading pillow for a story that I had to read to him, the dam broke loose again. I know it was the Lord who spoke through me: “Miguel, would you like to pray with me?” He eagerly accepted, and as I began to pray, the change that took place before my eyes was beautiful. The little heaving chest breathed deep and even. The heart-wrenching sobs were quieted, and the quivering lip and wrinkled brow relaxed. I could literally see the peace settle on his face as God’s peace filled his heart. Now I was crying.

That was the end of the battle (for today). From then on, although Miguel often expressed how much he missed his mother throughout the afternoon and evening, it wasn’t with the same hopelessness and grief.  Jesus was carrying his burden, and the peace of Jesus reigned in his heart. Miguel now looked forward to emailing his mom and boasted about how he would talk her ear off once he got her on the phone.

The power of one prayer in easing the life of a little child amazed me today. God’s love for us is so great, and His desire to give us what is good so strong. All we need to do is ask.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Aquatic Life

Here are a few more species that I was able to identify for my "fish list."

linckia laevigata - reef and lagoon starfish
plate-like, staghorn, and table Acropora corals
fungia horrida - mushroom corals (including a neon orange one)
plerogyra sinuosa - grape coral
spirobranchus giganteus - Christmas-tree worm (the bright blue-ish purple ones are my favorite, but the others are lovely too. Red, yellow, white, orange, etc. These are one of my favorite little things. If you wiggle your finger at them they disappear into the coral and then slowly creep out again.)
ascidians - seasquirts (I think this is what I saw. It has the closest description that I can find)

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Thought From My Readings

I'm leading out in the adult Sabbath school this week, and as I was reading some things on the topic of salvation, I came across this paragraph. I think it speaks for itself.

I have felt to urge upon all the necessity of searching the Scriptures for themselves that they may know what is truth, and may discern more clearly the compassion and love of God. Yet there is need of carefulness and earnest prayer in the study of the Bible, that none may fall into error by a misconception of its teachings. There is one great central truth to be kept ever before the mind in the searching of the Scriptures: --Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with influence and power corresponding to its relation to this theme. It is only in the light of the cross that we can discern the exalted character of the law of God. The soul palsied by sin can be endowed with life only through the work wrought out upon the cross by the Author of our salvation. The love of Christ constrains man to unite with Him in His labors and sacrifice. The revelation of divine love awakens in them a sense of their neglected obligation to be light-bearers to the world, and inspires them with a missionary spirit. This truth enlightens the mind and sanctifies the soul. It will banish unbelief and inspire faith. It is the one great truth to be constantly kept before the minds of men. Yet how dimly is the love of God understood; and in the teaching of the word it makes but a faint impression.  {1888 806.1}  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thank you!

Twenty-five days ago I turned eighteen, and a bit more than twenty-five days ago some of my very dear friends teamed together to do something to make my day just a bit more special. Although they sent it right on time, it has taken close to 600 hours for the video to download (now maybe you understand my slow internet problems). I almost started crying for joy when I saw that it had come through today. This post is in response to their gift. Thank you.

Also, please don’t look for any form or pattern in this poem; it’s rather sloppy, but I truly mean it all. J

We arrived from different places,
Different backgrounds, different faces.
Each a God-given talent to share,
Leaders, hard workers, and those who care…
We made memories, and memories made us.
Our sophomore year was hilarious.
Junior year our friend-circle grew,
Hikes and adventures not a few.
Then we were seniors, what a surprise!
We grew, our lives changed before our eyes.
Good times, bad times, glad times, sad times.
Opened and ended with Askom climbs.
Each experience knit us together,
Played its part and drew us to the Father.
Fun times gave us faith to push through trials,
Hard times in turn gave strength and lent miles
Of trust, and depth to relationships which,
Have not broken but grown, our lives to enrich.
Now, for some, the seas are what separate,
For others, busyness’ walls are great.
Yet, God made us classmates, schoolmates, friends,
And His love, which binds us, never ends.
We can have faith, far apart though we be,
That one another in heaven we will see.
I wish I could let you know how much,
Your present for me my life did touch.
But words are not enough to say,
The way you filled my heart today.
You gave more than words, in the gift you sent.
Encouragement, smiles, and wishes meant
To make my day and bless my heart
Reached and touched me though miles apart.
Thank you all: Sam, Anne, and Katie,
Heather, Shannon, and Desiree,
Carmen, Michael, and Matthew too,
Kalyse and Heidi plus Andrew.
I know Liss helped a lot with this,
And special thanks to Amaris!
I love you all lots and miss you tons,
Wondering who I pray for? You’re the ones,
On my heart and mind all day
And when bedtime prayers I say.
Keep going strong! I’m rooting for you!
And don’t forget to pray for me too!
May God continue to hold,
And your character to mold,
Till we all meet again,
With Jesus, our best friend!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Fish List

I think I've mentioned my love of Latin on this blog before, and now you're going to get another dose of it. For the past several weeks I've been itching to get my hands on a reef fish identification book, and I finally found one. Unfortunately, it only has fish, so I can't identify any of the other miraculous things I've been seeing, but I'm glad that at least I can start a fish list. Oh, and sorry that there aren't any pictures, but the internet just isn't fast enough for that. 

Pomacanthus imperator (juvenile)-emperor angel fish
Gymnothorax eurostus - stout moray eel
Melichthys indicus - Indian trigger fish
Melichthys niger - black trigger fish
Aulostomus chinensis - trumpet fish
Parupeneus macronemua - long barbel goatfish 
Onigocia spinosa - midget flat head
Scorpaenopsis venosa -  raggy scorpionfish
Parascorpaena mossambica (what I saw looked like this one, but if it is this one, it is a little bit out of its range of habitat) - Mozambique scorpionfish 
Pteroia volitans - common lion fish
Antennarius pictus - painted frogfish 
Sargocentron spiniferum - sabre squirrelfish 
Thalassoma purpureum - surge wrasse
Thalassoma trilobatum - ladder wrasse
Scarus rivalatus - rivulated parrotfish 
Pseudanthias smithvanizi - princess anthias
Premnas biaculeatus - spinecheek anemonefish
Amphiprion perideraion - pink anemonefish
Zanclus cornutus - moorish idol
Forcipiger flavissimus - longnose butterflyfish
Heniochus acuminatus - longfin bannerfish
Chaetodon oxycephalus - spot-nape butterflyfish

Of course, I've seen many more than just these. I've seen fish from the serranidae family, other amphiprions (they all look like Nemo lol), and bunches of other identifiable things. It's been so much fun. Yesterday I spent about five hours in the ocean looking at fish and shells and corals. I think I'm going to live underwater when I get to heaven, at least for a little while. :) 

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Unstable internet!
Haven't you loaded yet?
For hours I've waited,
But now I'm frustrated!

I lurk where your signal is strongest.
Downloading takes the longest,
Yet sometimes I can't even email,
Your performance is really a fail.

Patience is my lesson today,
And it was the same yesterday,
And the day before and before,
I have been tried o're and o're!

But obviously I haven't learned yet,
God's standard for me I haven't met.
Every day the test is the same,
My pastime is the waiting game.

So if you, my friends, don't hear from me,
Don't worry or fret or fear for me,
No longer can I substantiate,
An hour and a half per email to wait.