more than we can handle

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1 Corinthians 10:13 says:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Did any of you catch the two-hour special about the Van Ryn/Cerak story on Dateline NBC on Friday? I thought it was really good. If you missed it, you can read the transcript here.

(Side note: I bought the book “Mistaken Identity” and read it last week. It was really good! A fast read, but the story was honest and showed how God worked through this particular circumstance. I am amazed at the faith of these two families. You can read an excerpt of the book here.)

Something came to mind as I was watching the show. Matt Lauer was asking the Ceraks if they followed the Van Ryn’s blog about Laura’s daily progress during the five weeks before they found out that who they thought was Laura was really Whitney. Whitney’s dad replied:

I read it pretty much every day, I would get on. And at one point I said, “I just wonder, Colleen, how we would handle it if that was our daughter? I just don’t know how strong a parent I am. Would I be able to handle taking care of a daughter that’s been in a serious accident knowing that maybe she’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of her life?” And I’ll just be honest with you. At that point we just said, “We’re thankful that Whitney’s gone and that the Van Ryns are strong enough to deal with the situation that they’re dealing with.”

My mind went back to that verse in 1 Corinthians, about God not giving us more than we can handle. I have no idea why God allowed this situation to happen; I’ll probably never know. But I wonder if one reason was because God knew the Van Ryns could handle the uncertainty better than the Ceraks. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and I wonder if this was how He shielded the Ceraks from something He knew they couldn’t handle, and put the trial in the responsibility of the Van Ryns.

Perhaps I’m wrong; that wasn’t the reason at all. But at the same time, I think it’s comforting to know that I serve a God who is in complete control, and that through Him I can face anything. He loves me so much that He isn’t interested in seeing me fail.

Just a little thought for today. :-)


mistaken identity

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I’ve talked a lot here about the Taylor van crash, and the subsequent mix-up in identities of Laura and Whitney. Tonight I discovered that the VanRyn and Cerak families have written a book entitled “Mistaken Identity” about their story. It looks good; I can’t wait to read it.

Also, if you can get NBC on your tvs, be sure to tune into The Today Show and Dateline. Matt Lauer will be interviewing both families on The Today Show on Thursday morning (March 27th) and Whitney will appear on Friday’s episode (March 28th). The Today Show starts at 7am. There will also be a two-hour special on Dateline NBC on Friday (March 28th) at 9pm. (Thanks to my cousin for tipping me off about this!)


only 76 to go!

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Paul and I have been watching through the movies from AFI’s top 100 films that they presented last June. It’s been interesting watching some of the classics that have helped shape our culture. I never realized how many references were made to certain movies, for example “The Godfather”, until I saw them. We have been enjoying working our way through the list. We also like discussing with each other why the movie made the list, and why it was important to American culture enough to include in the top 100 list. We have a subscription to Blockbuster which gives us 2 DVDs mailed to us each month, for only $4. We think it’s a pretty good deal.

So the running list of movies we’ve seen (24 of 100! almost a quarter of the way through!):
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
2. The Godfather (1972)
3. Casablanca (1942)
5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
8. Schindler’s List (1993)
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
11. City Lights (1931)
13. Star Wars (1977)
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
20. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
24. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
25. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
40. The Sound of Music (1965)
46. It Happened One Night (1934)
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
51. West Side Story (1961)
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
76. Forrest Gump (1994)
83. Titanic (1997)
99. Toy Story (1995)
100. Ben-Hur (1959)

Movies next on our list:
6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
14. Psycho (1960)
17. The Graduate (1967)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
47. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
48. Rear Window (1954)
54. MASH (1970)
56. Jaws (1977)
57. Rocky (1976)
65. The African Queen (1951)
77. All the President’s Men (1976)
91. Sophie’s Choice (1982)


why He got up

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My sister-in-law (sister-in-law!) sent this to me, and I thought it was great. I hope it encourages you during this Easter season!

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WHY HE GOT UP?

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
1 Corinthians 15:55

Have you ever wondered why Jesus got up from the grave? Could you have been so important to Him that He would defy all that man had ever seen? Were you on His mind on that third day morning when He took the sting out of death? Why He got up…

When we think about death in our own minds it tends to come with finality and closure. Our precious Lord and Savior showed us that the story does not always end as it looks like it will. Jesus was hung on a Cross. He then gave up His life and He died. He was then laid in a tomb. But the glory happened on the 3rd day when He got up out of the grave. He took the sting out of death. He assured us a chance to spend eternity with the Father. He loved us beyond whatever cost was counted up. He loved us enough to get up. Why He got up?

Jesus’ love for us goes beyond what our minds can conceive. Jesus got up so that we would not have to go down. He got up so that hell became an option that we could choose or deny. He got up so that life could have meaning. He got up because only He could clean up the debacle that happened in the Garden of Eden. He got up because we were on His mind.

There are many of us who have fallen and decided that getting up was not worth it. Someone hurt your feelings in the church. The church is too commercial. The church people live worst than the sinners. We blame our falling down on everyone but ourselves. When Jesus got up it was for you and I. He knew that you would face trials and tribulations and still He got up. He knew that people would talk about you and still He got up. He knew that you would turn your back on Him and still He got up. He counted up the cost of how we would treat Him and still He got up.

He got up because He loved us beyond ourselves. He got up because He knew that He was the vine that connected us. He knew that we would need Him even when we did not want to acknowledge it. He knew that He was what we would need when we realized we were in need. He knew. He got up. He loved us. He cared for us. He got up so that we could look up and know that we have a chance to live a life of joy. He got up because He was our only hope.

So today I pray that everyone truly appreciates that He got up. Because of His unselfish act we now can see the Father’s face. We now can sit and talk with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We now can sing one day with the three Hebrew Boys. We now live a life of expectancy of one day seeing our Father. He got up and took the sting out of death. He got up and to God be the glory for always having us on His mind.

Amen!
Sheila T. Flowers


how I avoid road rage

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This job is the longest commute I’ve had – about 40 minutes. Unfortunately, none of it is on highway so I’m often stopped at red lights and in crawling traffic. This hits me more often on my drive home; usually my drive to work isn’t as bad, and I’m half asleep so I’m more laid-back. :-)

I used to listen to a morning show that I really liked, but 40 minutes a day got too much for me. I got bored of the topics, and so I set about trying to find something else to occupy my mind in the mornings. I then decided to get some books on tape! I am very fortunate to have both a cassette player and a CD player in my car, so I can check out pretty much all of the audio books at the library.

Earlier this week, I picked up a book unknown to me, entitled “The Cat-Nappers“, by P. G. Wodehouse. Apparently it’s the last book in a very popular series about a man name Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves. If you don’t recognize this book, you may know it by its British title, “Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen”. I really enjoyed this book, and I am eager to read the others in the series! There are some great one-liners, which I would repeat here but I’ve forgotten them due to me driving at the time.

Today it took me an hour to get home, because traffic was crawling. I was eager to get home to Paul since it was his birthday today(!!!). Yet, I wasn’t stressed at all – in fact I was engrossed in the novel and didn’t even look at the time until I got home. Hmm, I think this is a good thing for me. :-) (I can get quite ticked off in slow traffic!!)

I finished the book today, and went to the library and got two more out. I would like to take this opportunity to listen to some books I’ve been meaning to read, like perhaps a C.S. Lewis book, or Jane Austen? Or would those be too difficult to listen to? We’ll see. :-)