The Chronicles of Aksel

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In the land of Kang, we have four Elders: Two males and two females. We have never seen their faces before, for if we look into their eyes all memory is lost for the one who looked the deepest into their eyes. The Elders come to Kang from time to time. We are given warning of their appearance, but there are some who do not make it in time…my father was one of them; we found him wandering near the Kudlo Forest, he couldn’t even remember his own name. A Racker was about to take him , but my sister and I found him just in time.

They’re dangerous…Rackers. They are hunchback beasts with claws like iron, and six-inch razor sharp teeth…they have a paralyzing death screech…if it reaches your ears you are paralyzed and that’s when they take you. This Racker did not let out a paralyzing death screech…I never understood why. But this is not a story of my father, this is a story about me…my name is Aksel, it means father of peace. One day I was searching for food near the Kudlo Forest when I heard what sounded like quieted, almost majestic sounding voices. Do you know what I mean by majestic? Their voices were deep, loud, clear, calm…proud. I moved closer, mesmerized by the voices, to see who they belonged to…then I saw them. The four Elders, they were dressed in crimson red and gold, with crowns upon their heads, standing elegantly in a dark clearing of the forest. They appeared to be talking to a Racker. I tried to move closer but the Racker saw me and screeched its paralyzing death screech. I covered my ears, and closed my eyes, panicking as I could not move any further! Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, it stopped. Still holding my hands over my ears I lifted my head, opened my eyes, and looked straight into the eyes of a female Elder and fell to the ground. When I woke I was on a bed, and a woman was sitting next to me: her eyes were red and black, stained with dry tears and constant rubbing. It was my mother…but how could I remember that? I sat up confused. She looked at me with sadness then asked a simple question, “what is your name?” She looked down as the words rolled off her lips, she rubbed her achy hands across her knees. She was wearing her green dress again, the one my father gave to her. She knew the answer I was going to give to her; she heard her husband say it to her only 3 years past. “My name is Aksel.” I remember saying, my mother immediately looked at me with confusion and disbelief. I could not believe it either. But my memories were still…here. I remembered everything, so again I repeated, “my name is Aksel, it means father of peace. You named me after my grandfather…..Mother….I remember everything.”

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Quote from Charles Spurgeon

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I LOVE Charles Spurgeon. For those of you who don’t know Charles Spurgeon was a theologian who lived 1834-1892. I don’t want to tell you to much information because you should DEFINITELY look him up and some of his books. They’re incredible. This is a quote from his book The Treasury of David which is basically a commentary on the book of Psalms. This quote is from:

Psalm 8: 1 “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth ! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”

“Unable to express the glory of God, the Psalmist utters a note of exclamation. O Jehovah our Lord ! We need not wonder at this, for no heart can measure, no tongue can utter, the half of the greatness of Jehovah. The whole creation is full of his glory and radiant with the excellency of his power; his goodness and his wisdom are manifested on every hand. The countless myriads of terrestrial beings, from man the head, to the creeping worm at the foot, are all supported and nourished by the Divine bounty. The solid fabric of the universe leans upon his eternal arm. Universally is he present, and everywhere is his name excellent. God worketh ever and everywhere. There is no place where God is not. The miracles of his power await us on all sides. Traverse the silent valleys where the rocks enclose you on either side, rising like the battlements of heaven till you can see but a strip of the blue sky far overhead ; you may be the only traveller who has passed through that glen ; the bird may start up affrighted, and the moss may tremble beneath the first tread of human foot ; but God is there in a thousand wonders, upholding yon rocky barriers, filling the flowercups with their perfume, and refreshing the lonely pines with the breath of his mouth. Descend, if you will, into the lowest depths of the ocean, where undisturbed the water sleeps, and the very sand is motionless in unbroken quiet, but the glory of the Lord is there, revealing its excellence in the silent palace of the sea. Borrow the wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, but God is there. Mount to the highest heaven, or dive into the deepest hell, and God is in both hymned in everlasting song, or justified in terrible vengeance. Everywhere, and in every place, God dwells and is mani festly at work. Nor on earth alone is Jehovah extolled, for his brightness shines forth in the firmament above the earth. His glory exceeds the glory of the starry heavens ; above the region of the stars he hath set fast his everlasting throne, and there he dwells in light ineffable. Let us adore him “who alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea ; who maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.” (Job ix. 8, 9.) We can scarcely find more fitting words than those of Nehemiah, ” Thou, even thou, art Lord alone ; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all ; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” Returning to the text we are led to observe that this psalm is addressed to God, because none but the Lord himself can fully know his own glory. The believing heart is ravished with what it sees, but God only knows the glory of God. What a sweetness lies in the little word our, how much is God’s glory endeared to us when we consider our interest in him as our Lord. How excellent is thy name! no words can express that excellency; and therefore it is left as a note of exclamation. The very name of Jehovah is excellent, what must his person be. Note the fact that even the heavens cannot contain his glory, it in set above the heavens, since it is and ever must be too great for the creature to express. When wandering amid the Alps, we felt that the Lord was infinitely greater than all his grandest works, and under that fueling we roughly wrote these few lines: —

Yet in all these, how great soever they be, We see not Him. The glass is all too dense And dark, or else our earthborn eyes too dim. Yon Alps, that lift their heads above the clouds And hold familiar converse with the stars, Are dust, at which the balance trembleth not, Compared with His divine immensity. The snow-crown’d summits fail to set Him forth, Who dwelleth in Eternity, and bears Alone, the name of High and Lofty One. Depths unfathomed are too shallow to express The wisdom and the knowledge of the Lord. The mirror of the creatures has no space To bear the image of the Infinite. Tis true the Lord hath fairly writ his name, And set his seal upon creation’s brow. But as the skilful potter much excels The vessel which he fashions on the wheel, E’en so, but in proportion greater far, Jehovah’s self transcends his noblest works. Earth’s ponderous wheels would break, her axles snap, If freighted with the load of Deity. Space is too narrow for the Eternal’s rest. And time too short a footstool for his throne. E’en avalanche and thunder lack a voice, To utter the full volume of his praise. How then can I declare him ? Where are words With which my glowing tongue may speak his name I Silent I bow, and humbly I adore.”

-Charles Spurgeon

Safe From the Storm (explanation)

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Would you mind reading that poem again? What if I asked you to replace the Wind with the Holy Spirit? How about replacing the Sun with…the Son? Our dear Savior Jesus Christ. And what if I asked you to replace the Mountain with the Father? Would it make more sense to you? Allow me to give you a front row seat to this amazing life that God gave to me…and this Walk that He planned for me before time began:

I was/am so blessed to have grown up in a Christian home with a pastor for a father, and a mother who was and is still my father’s helpmate who’s character is that of a Biblical woman of God . Both were and are exemplary examples of what it means to be a Christian, but that did not make me a Christian…

“I’ve seen the Sun several times, but this time it looked almost indescribably different, and for the first time I felt the Wind push me towards it.” -Growing up in a Christian home I was exposed to Jesus and all that He did for us several times. I knew the right answers, and I believed because of my parents I was a Christian as well. But God in His mercy showed me that it was more than that, and He answered the prayers of my parents, and He saved me. The moment I was saved I viewed Jesus so indescribably different. Can I ask how many times you see the Wind in this poem? “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;” John 14:6. As Jesus promised in John, God sent the Helper to us, to be with us always and forever. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;” Romans 8:26. When I don’t know what to say to the Father, or where to go, the Holy Spirit does.

“The clouds had almost covered it, but left enough space for the Sun to peak out. Can you imagine it? It was like an eye was watching me. I blinked in its gaze and flew away in fear. I thought It to be a danger, and it seemed like the Wind was pushing against me, as I flew away.” -There have been so many times that I have tried to run from God for several reasons: I don’t understand why I’m going through something, I don’t trust Him, or I want to go my own way. So instead of Christ being a Savior for me, He instead looks like a danger to me. Do you realize that “winds” here is un-capitalized? These winds are not the Wind meaning the Holy Spirit, these are the winds of deceit sent by the deciever. The Holy Spirit will never lead you away from God.

“As I flew from the Sun I saw the sky turn a light green, the winds grew stronger and it started to rain. It was beautiful at first, but as it grew stronger it’s painful bite began to rip at my wings and I fell.” -The minute I run from God is when the flesh, satan, and the world attack. Whatever I am running from God towards seems really great at first, but then when I get there I realize it is not what I expecting and how wrong I was to even try and run from God. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, but resist him firm in your faith…” 1 Peter 5:8-9a

“I couldn’t see. Fear set in, and I tried to fly back to the Sun, but I could no longer see it. It was there, you must understand, but I was so blinded by my fear and my situation that I could not see it. The Wind seemed to be flying in several directions. I gave up trying to fly on my own and let the Wind carry me. It carried me to the only Refuge I knew. The Mountain. The only Strong Mountain. The Mountain that could be seen throughout the whole world.” -This is the time I start to panic and fear that I am too far from God for Him to reach me. But Jesus said He would be with us always. “…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. Even though at times it seems He was not there, He actually was…the whole time. As fear continues to grip my understanding I finally come to the point where I realize I cannot do it on my own, and I need God’s help to bring me out of the mess I put myself into.

“I hid from the storm in the crevices of the Mountain.” “Be still under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7. Praise God for His unending grace and mercy, especially during the times when I try to run away from Him! I can come before Him and pray, and He will always have open arms to welcome me back to Him! “A mighty Fortress is our God!”

“Then I saw It. The Sun…the bright Sun shining and breaking through the dark clouds.” -Once God has brought me out of the situation I was in, I see and understand that He was with me always. I may let go of Him, but He never let of me…and He never will. What an encouraging thought! When we see the dark clouds, the thunder, lighting, and rain fall down we have to remember that the Sun is still shining behind the clouds. It is always there! “I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b.

“A joy came over me that I could not understand. I was safe. Safe from the storm with the Mountain, the Sun, and the Wind by my side.” -The joy that comes into my heart when I am reconciled with God is indescribable. It makes me never want to run from Him again. Unfortunately I still do at times, but as we get closer and closer to the Day of Jesus’ return I have hope in that Day that I will run towards Him forever!

Sarah Skepple

Thanks for reading 🙂

Your life is a fish bowl…pt. 2

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This may not make sense to you if you didn’t read my previous post, but everything I mentioned there…STEREOTYPES.

Let’s start with our parents…

My Daddy’s a Pastor…and a good one! I used to hear people tell me all the time how blessed I was to have him as my Dad…and yes I am blessed! 🙂 I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home with BOTH my parents who loved the Lord…and even more so blessed that my Dad preaches what the Bible says, and does not try to bend it or fabricate it. As all dads are, or definitely should be, he cared for me and my siblings. There were times obviously that we thought he was being overprotective, but that over-protectiveness was love and care…and I’m so thankful for it.

It’s always a typical stereotype that when we were young we went to bed at 8:30 P.M….especially on Saturday nights because “you can’t fall asleep in church!”, I don’t really ever remember a time that we were forced to go to bed at 8:30…I wish we had though, I LOVE SLEEP.

Sadly what is somewhat true is that no one wants to be friends of a Pastor’s kid, but not because of us…it’s because of our Dad! Everyone’s threatened by the fact that our Dad is the Pastor that they don’t want to say or do anything around us…we don’t tattle tale!..except on our siblings 🙂

Although I have to be honest my siblings and I definitely thought the words “stupid” and “shut up” were curse words so we never spoke them…I think it’s good we were so threatened to say it to other people, and our parents because those aren’t very nice words anyway.

And yes we were very sheltered…but that just comes with how we were raised. There’s a lot of things that children shouldn’t and don’t need to know until they’re of age to understand it. That was WISE, not ridiculous.

Let me tell you the truth. I LOVE being a PK. I couldn’t have asked for a better life. Let me tell you how God blessed me:

  1. I have 3 siblings.
  2. I grew up in a Christian home.
  3. My dad’s a Pastor.
  4. My mom is submissive to my Dad, and showed me and my sister what it means to be a good wife.
  5. My church is so supportive of my family, every week it’s “how are you doing?” “How can we pray for you?” “How has your week been?” There’s so much love and support anyway, but even more so for us because we are the Pastor’s family.

Those are just a few things…and I’m still learning as I go through life as a Pastor’s Kid…someone told me a while back, “your life is a fish bowl.” People are always watching, and sometimes waiting for you to trip and fall…the sad thing is we will fall and we do fall. We’re not perfect, we’re just normal people who’s Daddy stands in the pulpit every Sunday, thankfully preaching the truth!

Sarah Skepple

P.S. I want you to know that my Daddy’s a goof…it’s where I get my weirdness from but I love him. I am most definitely a Daddy’s girl! 🙂

Your life is a fish bowl

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Daddy’s overprotective.

Mommy’s concerned about where you are at 8:30 P.M…..and even more overprotective than Daddy.

You have to make your rounds to every single elder, elder’s family, deacon, deacon’s family, usher, and family in the church before you sit down at your seat….oh and you BETTER be seated before the music starts because then Daddy’s gonna come to find you.

You have no friends except that one family that’s also like you…you tried to make friends once but then you accidentally told Mommy and Daddy to *whispers* “shut up”, and they asked you where you heard it from, and you said “from so and so at church” and then Mommy and Daddy told their parents and then so and so told everyone at church that you’re a tattle tale, so now NO ONE will be you friend.

You’re overly sheltered (I mean you thought shut up was a curse word), and sex? NEVER SPEAK OF IT, IT IS EVIL!…outside of marriage that is, but when you get married it’s okay (?…because that made since as a 13 year old during “the talk”).

When you went to high school you were exposed, and I mean EXPOSED, to everything…sheltered isn’t even in your vocabulary and around the age of 14-15 is when it happens…you’re either the perfect one or the rebellious one….know what I’m talking about?

 

THE LIFE OF A PK….and all the lies that come with it.

(to be continued)…

 

Dear Future Husband, I pray for you every night pt. 2

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“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” Matthew 19:12

I never understood this verse. I’ve heard it maybe a couple of times, and then once in one of my dad’s sermons. At the dinner table on that Sunday afternoon I asked him what it meant. He said, “Some are single by the divine secret Will of God, some are single by the decisions of others, some are single by personal choice for the sake of the Kingdom. But it’s very important to keep this verse in its context.” (I would suggest reading Matthew 19 as a whole).

I remember my heart almost dropping out of my chest when I heard that. ‘There are some people who WANT to be married but aren’t going to be?’ That thought is enough to drive someone insane. Anxiety, frustration, and anger come with that if it’s not combated with the truth.

Self-pity. In a book called “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?” it talked about self-pity and how harmful it is. Carolyn McCulley quotes John Piper, “The need of self-pity does not come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride (p. 60).” Reading that convicted my heart. I sadly have to say most of the tears I cried were due to my self-pity, my thinking that I deserve something, it’s shameful even saying it now, but God….

God in His mercy has given me such a wonderful mother who knows what to say in the moments when I’m feeling at my worst. She called me to her room one day to ask what was wrong, through tears I tried to explain, and justify, my feelings of loneliness, self-pity, and feeling left out…

She joined me with tears saying I didn’t have to worry, I’ll never forget what she said, “I know you want to be married and have kids, but you have to be patient. Before the foundations of the world God planned your whole life! He saw this day, and He saw tomorrow. He knows what He’s doing, and He has a reason for it. You can’t fill your head with lies, you’re not alone. You’re going to look back on this day and understand all of it, just be patient.”

I love my mom. She always knows what to say in these moments, I believe the words that come from her mouth in these moments are truly from God.

After these talks with my mom I always feel so much better. While I can’t write down everything my mom has taught me about prayer, and patience, another major thing she has taught me is to trust God. I know and understand that, while most women get married, some may not. Another great quote from Carolyn’s book is, “God may change your assignment [singleness] and calling, or you may find that, as the years go by, you are increasingly contented with being single. There’s grace for being so gifted either way.” This gave me so much hope, and confidence. God is good isn’t He? He gives us the grace and mercy to BE content in whatever situation we’re in…as Paul says in 1 Cor. 7. If Paul could be content in whatever circumstance, and he was a human, I (we) can be in our singleness.

Of course my mom cannot promise me that marriage is what God has for me, but she taught me that prayer is powerful. “Are you praying for your future husband?” She asked. “Are you praying that God would make you to be the woman/wife God wants you to be?” Before this time I had never prayed for that, I sometimes prayed for myself being the woman, but I never really prayed for him.

What if he doesn’t exist? Should I still pray for him?

While reading one of my favorite bloggers, Phylicia Delta’s blog, she explains the importance of still praying for your future husband…(please go read her blog!) Do we know if he exists or not? Of course not but that should not stop us from praying for him. We don’t know God’s plan for our lives, but one thing we do know is that we are to bring Him glory, it’s only God’s decision if marriage (for you and for me) will bring Him glory. Ahh trust. Trust God because He truly knows what’s best for us.

I’ve dropped the ball sometimes, but I try to, every night, pray for my future husband. I pray for his salvation, if he is unsaved at the moment. I pray for his relationship with the Lord, that it would be strong. I pray for the moments when he’s down, frustrated, angry, and/or sad that he would find comfort in the Lord, because the Lord is the only one who can give us the comfort we need, no human can, only the Lord…and it’s so great to serve a good God who loves His children. I pray for his leadership, and respect for his parents and the adults in his life. It’s not much but it brings me a lot of joy that, if marriage is something God has for me, I can tell my husband that I prayed for him.

Sarah Skepple

Checkout my previous post “Dear Future Husband, I pray for you every night pt. 1.”

Dear Future Husband, I pray for you every night pt. 1

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If I hear someone tell me one more time, “Sarah when you meet your future husband you’ll just know.” I may try to ACTUALLY attack them

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KNOW WHAT?

Will a light go off in my brain?

Will he be turning his head a certain way?

Will I see our future kids when I look into his dreamy eyes?…(maybe)

What is IT? Obviously some sort of magic happens when you meet your future husband…right? But what if I already thought that I kinda felt it before? Then I’m like PSYYYYYYYCH it’s not that guy!

So what do I do then?

What should I do then?

I convince myself he exists, in convincing myself of this, I’ve believed that God owes me that much.

I used to wonder what was going through God’s mind when He hears that thought in my head…how much pain I was causing just by not being thankful for what I have, and even thinking that God owed ME something?

CRAZINESS!

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11.

This Psalm burned in my brain when I read it. ‘Is it not a good thing to get married?…Is it not a good thing for ME to get married?’ I ask myself all the time ‘what’s wrong with me?’ I mean obviously it’s not good for me to be married, so I have to prepare now to be alone forever. I’ve spent long nights in tears: angry, frustrated, confused, sad…all because I had convinced myself that every time a guy broke my heart, every time a guy told me “you’re my friend,” every time I watched all of my siblings and friends get into relationships (or even a person of the opposite sex have feelings for them) it was a sign…a long road preparing me for lifelong singleness.

I’m only 21 and I’ve watched 15 year old’s holding hands with their boyfriends, 18 year old’s walk down the aisle toward the love of their life…and 20 year old’s lovingly looking into the eyes of their first child. My heart grew dark with envy and jealousy. I stayed off social media “that’ll help” I told myself. If I can’t see the pictures or posts I won’t feel anything…then sooner or later I’ll accept the fact that I’m going to be single forever.

I was wrong to assume that my problem lied within Facebook. My problem lay within my heart. Even when I stayed off for two weeks at a time, my thoughts never stopped. I was just so angry with God, and what He was putting me through (because God TEMPTS us to sin right?…WRONG!)….

(to be continued)