Friday, August 29, 2008

With Bated Breath

With bated breath
I wait
Heart pulsating erratically
Inside my chest

And with bated breath
I wait
For the call I have learned
To never expect

But with bated breath
I wait
For hope is something
That is not easily expired

So with bated breath
I will wait
In faith, trusting
That his word is good

Labeled in His Blood

Galatians 3:26-29, NIV Reader's Version
You are all children of God by believing in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ as if he were your clothes. There is no Jew or Greek. There is no slave or free person. There is no male or female. Because you belong to Christ Jesus, you are all one. You who belong to Christ are Abraham's seed. You will receive what God has promised

Tonight, as I was reading Galatians 3, these verses took on a new meaning to me. I suppose that I had just never thought about it before, so it had no meaning to me at all. But tonight, as I was reading, it hit me: It doesn't matter. It doesn't where you've come from. It doesn't matter what your background is. It doesn't matter how horrible of a sinner you are or how long you walked in the world. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor. It doesn't matter if you're well-educated or have barely been to school. It doesn't matter if you come from a broken home or an orphanage or a loving family. It doesn't matter if you are man or woman. It doesn't matter if you're young or old. It doesn't matter if you've done drugs, drank, smoked, had pre-marital/ extra-marital sex, murdered people, had an abortion, gone through a divorce, etc. It doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is JESUS CHRIST. And if we belong to Him, then that is ALL that matters. His blood has covered ALL of our sins. His blood takes our dirty past and washes us clean with a new life. When we come to Jesus, we are all the same. We're just sinners in need of a Saviour. When we accept Jesus we are no longer branded with labels according to our sins, but we are covered in His blood and it labels us not as a sinner, but as God's son or daughter.

And I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty amazing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can I help you?

This is a common occurrence when I'm sitting in my chair on the computer. Apparently, she's starved for affection.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Socialite (LOL)

I have done things with people (other than work) for 3 days in a row. In case you don't know, this is a huge deal for me.

Thursday night: movie with David
Friday evening: dinner with a girl from school
This afternoon: hiking/ rappelling/ climbing with the Frocks and Ryan and Courtnie

I'm gonna be sore tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Even though...

The other day, I read Isaiah 45 and this verse really stood out to me:
4 Cyrus, I am sending for you by name.
I am doing it for the good of the family of Jacob.
They are my servants.
I am doing it for Israel.
They are my chosen people.
You do not know anything about me.
But I am giving you a title of honor.

I don't know, there was just something that spoke to me -- that even though Cyrus didn't know God, God had a plan for him and gave him a title of honor and apparently used him to accomplish His purpose. At the time, I didn't know what to say about it. I just thought it was really neat. God might be using me even though I sometimes feel like i don't know anything about Him.

Then tonight, I read Romans 8

26 In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don't know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words. 27 God, who looks into our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit. And the Spirit prays for God's people just as God wants him to pray. 28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. He appointed them to be saved in keeping with his purpose.

29 God planned that those he had chosen would become like his Son. In that way, Christ will be the first and most honored among many brothers. 30 And those God has planned for, he has also appointed to be saved. Those he has appointed, he has made right with himself. To those he has made right with himself, he has given his glory.

31 What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us?

The two passages seem related to me. God, who at times I do not know at all, has a plan for me. Because I do not know Him at times and can't think of what to say to Him in prayer, the Holy Spirit speaks to God on my behalf. God works out all things to the good of those who love Him. He has planned for me to become like Jesus because he chose me. God is on my side -- even when I'm not on His.

How much more then, should I desire to be on His?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a long day

I worked until almost 9:30 tonight. I got there at 1:30, which isn't too bad, except that my day didn't begin at 1:30, it began before that... so a late night makes it feel like a long day. I could never be a nurse. Ever.


Ever. Just had to add those last few ever's to make sure we're clear on that.

I realized though, I have a lot to be thankful for. Last night I was talking to a guy who is serving in Iraq right now. And while I wanted to get home from work because I was missing precious facebook time, he is missing precious time with his little girl. My job might FEEL like the worst job ever some days, but there are worse things. It kind of helped to put things in perspective for me.

As much as it put things in perspective -- this is still my life and the one I have to live. And just because he's in Iraq doesn't mean that I can't go to bed because I'm exhausted. And I am. exhausted, that is. Well, and going to bed.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When "I don't know" is all I've got

why, we just don't know... why

i don't know
what you have for me

a wedding dress,
a handsome prince,
happily ever after

i don't know
what you have for me

a picket fence,
a tree swing,
a cobblestone path

i don't know
what you have for me

a pigtailed princess,
a little cowboy,
eskimo kisses

i don't know
what you have for me

lessons in patience
cultivating trust
experiencing love

i don't know
what you have for me

but i know
a lonely heart
and hopelessness

(c) Amber Hill

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I saw God today

Sometimes I try to look for God in little things throughout my day. As I was writing my last post (And this is love...), I had a cat (a FAT cat) laying across my arms pinning them down as I was typing on my laptop. She is purring loudly. I pushed her away about 5 times before realizing that all my efforts were in vain. Nothing I did would stop her from trying to get up in the chair as close to me as she could possibly be. I threw her out of the chair once. I put my foot under her, as she rubbed up against my legs and pleaded with me to let her up, and gently moved her a few feet away from me. So many times, I've had to send her out of my room, shut the door, and tell her no. And yet, she keeps coming back. You can rough her up and make her mad and instead of taking it out on you, she'll take it out on Sarah (the other cat). And three seconds later, she'll be back begging for more. If I'm in the kitchen cooking, she's there saying, "Meow. Meow. Meow." Which is translated, "I'm fat. Feed me and make me fatter." Or "Talk back to me in meows so I'll answer you."

So, as my arms were pinned down under her weight, I realized that God is a lot like Zoe. No matter how many times I shove Him away, He's still RIGHT THERE asking me to let Him back in. No matter how many times I shut the door of my heart to Him, he still stands at the door knocking. When I'm distracted by the things of this world, He's there, begging me to pay attention to Him. And when I talk to Him, he answers.

Zoe, you are welcome to get off of my arms any time so I can get the cat hair off of me. God, you're welcome to stay with me today.

And this is love...

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
1 John 4:7-12

I read this passage over and over again trying to come up with something to write about it. I copied it from and pasted it into my blog thinking that was a good place to start. I drew a few things from this passage, but they're the standard things that I've always gotten from this passage. God is love, we can love because He loved us first, people who know God will demonstrate love toward one another.

And then I read this: "No one has ever seen God." As I read that, it hit me -- if God is love and no one has ever seen God then my demonstration of love toward my neighbor is ultimately showing them God. When I do things for someone out of love, such as making a meal that I KNOW Dr. Fowler enjoys just because I love him and want him to have a meal that he enjoys, I'm not giving him a meal, I'm giving him God. When I'm irritated by the hygienist and we're behind schedule and the kid in room 2 bit me and I can't get Dr. Colburn to come check my patients -- when I'm having a bad day at work -- and I demonstrate love to a patient through my patience with them, I am giving them more than a pleasant experience at the dental office. I am giving them God.

It just made me think -- how many people in this world need God? How many times have I said that someone who is unkind or selfish "needs Jesus"? While developing a relationship with Him is ultimately what they need most, it begins with them seeing God and meeting Him. As a Christian, God has given me the ability to love. With that ability comes a responsibility to show people who He is. If someone "needs Jesus" then I have the power to begin meeting that need. Only God can truly meet the need, but I have the power to introduce Him to that person. And that starts with demonstrating love toward them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

That Was Fun!

When I woke up this morning, I thought, "I want to do something fun today." So, I went shopping. I didn't really buy anything. Well, not totally true. Our LNT is going out of business and my mom has been looking for a slip cover for the sofa, so I found one for 60% off that will match the room and bought it for my mom. Well, technically I guess my mom and dad bought it since I put it on the credit card, but whatever. Minor details, right?

That still wasn't really enough fun though. So, I looked up what movies were at the $1.50 theater and asked Varenda if she wanted to go see What Happens in Vegas with me. After all, what movie with Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz could be bad? And they didn't let me down. The movie was SO funny and SO good. I laughed and, well... I almost cried. It was nice to go somewhere with someone and have fun. And for only $3. I paid for her movie... I mean, it was only $1.50 and I sort of live at her house for free and she feeds me. It was the least I could do. (See how thoughtful I am?)

Anyway, know what's really going to be fun? When Courtnie and Ryan move here. Ryan is our new youth pastor and Courtnie is his wife. They're in their 20s and seem like they are a lot of fun. I knew who they were before I knew they were coming to our church. The church the attend (used to attend?) is in Charlotte, and it's probably my favorite church ever. So whenever I'm at my parents house in Statesville, I go to the University City church. And sometimes, I just drive up to Charlotte on Sabbath morning to go to the church. So, I knew who they were from Sabbath School and they seemed like nice people. I officially met them last Sabbath and Courtnie is just REALLY sweet. We have been commenting back and forth on Facebook. I can't wait for them to move down because it means I'll have a new friend. And of course, I can always use one of those. Especially right now. Things have been pretty lonely.

So, that was my fun day! How was yours?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Making an attempt...

Hi! I haven't been able to get into the whole blogger thing. I do blog on my Xanga, but for some reason, Blogger has always seemed so difficult to use. However, I spent a little time on here today and I have figured it out a little more, so I think I know enough to (maybe) enjoy using it.
Originally, I only wanted to use this for the things that I wrote that were deep and insightful. It seems as though "deep and insightful" for me has been few and far between. I think now I'll just use it to write on and if I ever come across and deep/ insightful thought, then I will post that.
Until then, let me introduce myself if you don't know me. My name is Amber, which is probably evident from my profile. I like long walks on the beach, movies, sunsets, and... oh wait, this isn't a personal ad.

I work for a dentist in Spartanburg as a dental hygiene assistant. That basically means that I take a lot of x-rays and sometimes I polish people's teeth. I'm going back to school in January for dental hygiene and then I'm going to Southern Adventist University to get my BS in Health Science. While it seems as though I have it all figured out, let me assure you, I do not. In fact, I'm not even sure if I want to be a dental hygienist, but I enjoy it enough that I'm going to go ahead and complete my degree in dental hygiene because I really like dentistry and it's good to have a dental background for what I'm thinking I really want to do. And that's why I'm getting my BHS.

I think that I want to be a sales rep for a dental product company (such as Listerine, Sonicare, Patterson Dental, Sullivan-Schein, the dental division of 3M company, etc). I'm sure you're saying, "But wait Amber, you said that you're a dental assistant. So, don't you have a dental background?" Yes. And that leads me to my next point. Dental hygienists make great money and dental hygiene offers me flexibility. And hey, I want to get married and have kids and I'd really like to stay home with my kids as much as possible. Dental hygiene would allow me to choose my own schedule and only work if/ when I want/ need to. And, I like teeth. And teaching people how to take care of their teeth. And I like helping to prevent people from losing their teeth.

A few other quick things about me -- I like to write, play piano, sing, read, sleep, eat, cook, etc. I think kids are fun. I'm an INFJ personality type. (What type are you?) I think some of the best
things in life are family and friends.

I love God. I wish I had as much to say about Him as I did about dentistry. He and I are working on this whole relationship thing. Sometimes it works, other times I don't let it. A man that goes to my church tells this story about carrying water in a basket. I found the story on someone's blog, so you can read it there. Anyway, I guess that right now, I'm trying to do that. I get so discouraged reading my Bible. Not because I don't remember it, but because I just don't feel like it's doing anything. I don't feel like it matters or makes a difference. I hate to admit this, but sometimes, I don't even enjoy it. But maybe, just maybe, if I read my Bible -- just one or two verses even -- and spend a little bit of time in prayer, maybe God will begin to change me and maybe I'll recognize His presence more than ever. I enjoy working for God. I enjoy going to church and I know what I believe and why I believe it. I know what's right. I know that God is good and that He is love and that He is merciful and powerful and big. But I want to know those things. I want to believe those things and to feel those things and to experience Jesus for myself. There is a verse in Psalms that says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." It doesn't just say to see that He is good, but it says to taste and see. To me that means that you have to jump in, get involved, and experience Jesus. Watching other people taste Him, isn't going to make me know who He is. Listening to Pastor Jerry or Pastor Daddy (that's right, I'm a PK) isn't enough. A vicarious relationship with Jesus is NOT a relationship with Jesus. Maybe you can pray for me, as I carry my empty basket to the Water of Life and allow God to begin filling me with Himself.

That got a lot deeper than I intended for it to. Anyway, this is me.