Sometimes, We Forget

So as I’ve been saying, my life has been entirely insane lately. At least, that’s what I thought.

With pressure coming from every angle and no light at the end of the tunnel, I have been in a deep struggle with my heart for the last couple months… and the trials keep pouring in, adding one atop another until they have created a waterfall, majestic from a distance, but deathly powerful up close. But I have come to realize that, though compared to the culture around us these days I have it rough, compared to most Christians throughout history and even in other parts of the world today, I have it easy! My life may seem tough with financial, church community, etc. etc. trouble, but if you compare it to just about any of the main characters from the Bible I have nothing to whine about.

One example would be Noah. We all know the story of Noah’s Ark. But have you ever considered putting yourself in his shoes? Not only are you surrounded by evil (ie murder, beating, stealing, lying, cheating, etc etc etc), but then you are told to build this giant ark to save you from a flood… in the middle of the desert. Your neighbors, friends, and even your own family claim you a crazy fool. Then, once the flood begins and you are closed up tight, you must bear witness to the biggest natural catastrophe in history. You hear the cries of every living creature, watch the home you built, the places you grew up in, and everyone you’ve ever known besides your own family be torn, changed, washed away, and killed. You then spend 11 months trapped in this boat-which most likely started to stink of animal and human feces after the first day, and after the first couple days the smell of the dead bodies would have enveloped the boat as well-with a bunch of wild animals, and your family members. Imagine being trapped in an enclosed space with your family for over a year, with no escape route! When at last you are let free, you enter into an entirely different world. And you are all alone. But somehow, you can still worship God! But there are more examples.

 

Another is Joseph. Everyone knows this story as well. He was the youngest, and obvious favorite of his parents, in a family of 12 (including him). After he spied on his brothers as they watched their fathers herd of sheep, they threw him into a pit. His own family sold him into slavery! He then traveled miles and miles across the desert. When at last he reached Egypt, he was bought by Potiphar, the Pharaoh’s Captain of the Guard. But the Lord blessed everything he did, and Potiphar saw this. He would have entrusted his life to Joseph. But then Potiphar’s wife, after many unsuccessful attempts to seduce him, she got him into trouble with his master. He was thrown into the prison there, surrounded by bad people and the worst of conditions. But even there, the Lord blessed his handiwork. After living there for TWO YEARS, having been forgotten by a servant of Pharaoh’s, he was finally summoned by the Pharaoh to interpret his dreams.

He did this job to such satisfaction that the Pharaoh gave him the highest position of honor other than his own, placed his signet ring (which was how the Pharaoh would sign laws. Nothing was more powerful than this.) onto Joseph’s finger. A series of events occurred, in which Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for grain in the famine. They did not recognize their long-lost and suspected-dead brother. He found out about a full brother that had been born, Benjamin. He was told that his mother had died, and his father was in bad health. Eventually, God used him to save the entire nation, and through his line of descendants, our Savior was born.

 

Yet another example is Job. For centuries, people have looked to the book of Job for comfort in hard times. Job was a man of God, with a strong faith. The Lord allowed Satan to test Job. The only exception to this testing was the Devil could not take his life. Job lost everything. His wife, his children, his belongings, his health, everything. Shortly after, his 3 friends came to “comfort” him. In reality, they only heaped coals on his head and made him even more miserable. But yet again, we see that Job not only did not curse God’s name, but in Job 1:20, immediately after he has been informed of the great tragedies that befell him, we read that “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” How could that possibly be? This man has just been thrust into hell on earth, and he is worshiping!

 

In the New Testament, we find a whole new set of trials. For centuries, the people of God were persecuted for their faith. Stephen was stoned to death for refusing to renounce his faith. John the baptist was beheaded for preaching the gospel. The main author of the NT, Paul, was beaten nearly to death numerous times, run out of town again and again, imprisoned, the list goes on and on. But every single one of these men were not just bearing this pain. They were worshipful, happy even! They continued to push the message of the gospel forward. Upon them, the foundation of Christianity was laid.

 

After Bible times, there were hundreds of thousands of martyrs who died protecting and encouraging their faith. Every single one of them died willingly, ready to meet their God. (I have not listed any for the sake of time, but all you have to do to find a couple of the stories that actually have been told is look up “martyr” on Google.)

 

We here in America have it amazingly easy. And yet, we complain more then any of the others. When we experience a slight trial, or in some cases a couple of slight trials one atop the other, we get mad. We blame God, we blame each other, we second guess our faith, etc. We have become, forgive me, terrible witnesses of Jesus Christ. Really, compared to decades past, our lives are about as easy as they come.

 

Now, you fellow Christians out there are probably thinking, “Um, CCG, you are kinda leaving out the MOST IMPORTANT MARTYR EVER TO WALK THE FACE OF THIS EARTH!” right? Well, I’m not. See, this is where the truth of Christianity shows. God allowed his own Son, Jesus Christ, to be tortured and murdered for us. We who think that we’ve known suffering, us prideful, self-righteous “people of God”, often overlook the greatest sacrifice ever made. Jesus led a perfect life. Not a “good” life, a perfect one. He faced every trial, every temptation, everything we have experienced and more, and yet He remained sinless. But He offered himself up, gave his own life. He suffered a more gruesome and painful death then anyone nowadays can even imagine. But that is not the worst part. He faced the full wrath of God. His own Father turned His face away. No one has had to face this terrible truth. There is nothing, NOTHING worse than this pain. And He did it for us. He paved the way for us to be with our Heavenly Father for all eternity.

Now, what do we, in full honesty, have to complain about? A couple of temporary trials? Our sinful hearts try to hide this truth from us in our pain. But, unlike the movies from Hollywood would tell you, we must ignore our hearts lies and run to Him, the One who gave it all for us. For only in Him can we possibly find peace and rest forevermore.

Dancing On Air

…Or, more appropriately, sitting on hair. Haha

Yesterday I got to ride my horse. But this wasn’t just any ride… this was the best ride EVER! = D

I lunged him using the rope method for about 10 minutes, then tacked him up. I worked him for about 35-45 minutes under saddle with draw reigns, and he was STUNNING!

I could not believe how good he was! But it wasn’t just his good direction that I was happy with. He actually did better his BAD way than his GOOD way! We were really working the walk-trot on a bunch of figure-8’s and 20-30 meter circles, and he did GREAT. I decided to end our work there, on a good note. But he was a bit hot still, so I took off his saddle, locked us up in the bulpen, hopped up, and rode him bareback. He was just awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I trotted a couple circles on him! I was SO HAPPY with that horse. I stayed on for probably 20 MINUTES BAREBACK, and just before getting off I took a bit of video. Then I stayed for about 5 minutes more taking pictures of him. Today I took the pics and video and put them to music. So here is the vid!

Thats it for today!

-CCG

A Cold, Lonely Night

So I was upset and feeling quite alone tonight, and so full of emotion all I could do was write.

This is a bit depressing, but I kind of liked it. Thought maybe I would share.

 

I am all alone,

This place is not home,

No one gives me love,

It comes only from above.

 

Everything is cold,

Time is as precious as gold,

I must now always wear the mask,

‘One thing to go right!’ I ask.

 

Why has everyone turned

On me, no one at all concerned

For me, not a single drop of care,

My eyes let loose tears that wet my hair.

 

All I have is him alone,

He never left me on my own.

He was slain for me in love,

He covers me with His wings, like a dove.

 

–CCG

 

What Do You Think?

Hello all!

So, I keep mentioning that I’m writing a book, but I haven’t said anything about it. So I have decided to put up the very first part of it so that you can see.

Any crit would be MUCH APPERICIATED!!! = )

 

“I open my eyes. I don’t know where I am, or why I’m even here. I can remember nothing. Who are these people? What is this place? What is going on?

I am in a small white room. There are no windows, and no markings of any kind. People in white and blue clothing surround me, and they are rushing around me, sticking me with needles, checking my pulse, poking and prodding me from every direction.

As my senses come to me, I realize that I can’t feel any of it. Then I realize I cannot move. I try to lift my arm, to ask what is happening, but nothing happens. I have no idea what is happening or who I am, or what I am doing here. One of the nurses sees I am awake, and calls over the doctor, obviously surprised. They tell me that I am in the ICU at Weathervane Hospital. He asks me if I know where that is. I stare at him, trying to answer “no”. But as I move my mouth, no sound comes. He asks again, and still no sound. He asks if I can tell him my name, and again I try to answer “no”, but still no sound. I feel something wet and warm fall from my eyes. At least I can feel that. It brings me some comfort, though very little.

I must figure out who I am, I must discover some way to communicate, I must… I must… I… Must…”

Please comment! Thanks!

–CCG

MOOSE!!!! = D

I LOVE MY HORSE! AND I LOVE MY TRAINER! AND TODAY WAS AWESOME!

Ha ha sorry for yelling. So, today I had my first ride in about 3 weeks, and my first lesson in about 3 months. My trainer is the best, sweetest, most caring trainer EVER. She may put on her tough-girl act, but inside she’s a marshmallow. I found out today that she bought me a saddle! It is a German made jumping saddle, and it is SO COMFY! It fits me and my horse as near to perfect as you can get from eBay, which is where we ALWAYS get our saddles from. Here is a picture of it:

Thanks SO MUCH HOLLY!

She also taught me a new method to help me get Moose to set his head right. Because he is from the track, his head is ALL OVER THE PLACE. We need to correct this, not just for appearance, but because he has arthritis in his hocks. His stifles are not very strong, and so we need to strengthen them. But since I am not the rider I need to be right now after a long lay-off to get him traveling right, we will use this method she came up with, which she likes to call the “Rope Trick”.

Rope Trick:

Remove saddle and nose band.

We have a black lead rope/draw reign with clips on both ends. You lay it across his back (where the saddle would be), so that you have 1 clip on each side. You bring the right side up between his front legs and clip it to the LEFT side of the bit. Then you grab the left clip, bring it through the front legs, and clip it to the RIGHT side of the bit. You then lunge them like this. It only takes a few minutes at the walk trot and canter. The rope is not tight, and does not PULL his head down. It is just a very LIGHT contact that uses a slight left-right motion, just like I would from the saddle. It acts much like draw reigns would. This way, he learns the correct way to carry himself without me on him, and I can do it without anyones assistance. It also allows him to work out any kinks without me having to ride through them. It keeps me safe, and it does not cause any fear or pain to the horse. After 10 minutes or so, I remove the rope, tack him back up (with the noseband), and I can ride him. Now, we are using draw reigns on him right now, but it is only until he has figured it out. We may in the future return to it when needed (as you always should do. The really successful horses and riders are those who will take a break, go back to the basics every now and then. Because if you haven’t mastered the basics, how can you possibly master the high levels?), but it will not be something that we use CONSTANTLY. Once he gets it, there is no need to continue. Now, say, if I had another lay-off season or something, or there is a day that we are having a lot of trouble. At that time, yes I would come back to this. Now, this should NEVER be tried without a learned and experienced horse person with you. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, you could get yourself and your horse in a lot of trouble.

Anyways, after we worked him for 15 minutes on the line (we did longer today because it was his first time and my first time, so it took longer to get the kinks out.), I got up on him and had the most amazing ride ever.

The second a put a slight contact on the draw reigns, he was holding his head like a level 3 dressage horse and acting like a perfect gentleman. That’s not to say we got through it perfectly, but it was a pretty darn good ride for an ex-racer and a teenage girl who have been out of it for months!

I also discovered that I have permission to go to the barn alone now, so hopefully I can go much more often. I am SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moose is the best horse on the face of this earth. I never could have made it this far without him, both in my horsemanship and in life period. It still amazes me that God would have given me this perfect horse when I wasn’t even looking for him.

And as for Holly, I will never forget her. She is an amazing trainer, and a gift from God. If it wasn’t for her, I’d still just be a girl with a dream, some book smarts, and no real talent what-so-ever. I love you Holly!

That’s all for today!

-CCG

Thats Life

Well, the hike didn’t go quite as planned. The bulletin had it wrong, and this week we didn’t play a game. Which stinks. But it was a great hike, and I had lots of friends to talk to and hang with.

Anyways, this past season has been the toughest of my life so far. I can’t go into any detail, but it’s been hard. Harder then when I left Arizona, harder then leaving Maryland, harder then Pennsylvania, harder even then when, before we left New York, we had no idea where we were going to go. We had a date that we had to move on, but until a couple weeks before we didn’t know where we were going to go. That was 2 years ago. And now, once again, we are traveling the broken road, more weary, tired, and torn then ever before. But God is with us, and that’s all anyone needs. As yet another song says, “You (God) are more than enough for me”.

Last night, my heart was in turmoil, and I couldn’t sleep because of it. So I wrote. I think it turned out alright.

Injustice is the sharpest pain,
the cruelest fate,
the grueling, tearing, test of faith,
the aching, burning, fatal bane.

Beneath the surface of love and care,
is a churning, mourning, chaotic mess,
that’s caused by the curse of so long ago,
and makes you wonder if anyone is really there?

A rose, a beautiful, awesome, majestic rose,
a pure and hopeful bud about to burst,
but inside is the hidden beetle, eating them alive,
it is injustice, and fear of all the known unknowns.

You are alone,
to mourn your own
unspoken fear of destiny.

Then comes He, the one been slain,
the One betrayed by those He came to save,
the One who suffered injustice’s unspoken agonies,
the One I run to in my pain
so he can set me free again.

Please, leave a comment with any critisism you might have, I’d love to hear it. I am a new, young writer and I need all that I can get. Thanks!

–CCG

Fall Hike!

The last couple months, Sunday has been hard.

I go to church (usually getting there just as, or even just after, it starts), worship and listen to the message, the I get 5-10 minutes with my friends before heading up to Zack’s to open.

Those 5-10 minutes are all I get of my friends for the week, other than those who work at Zack’s with me or the occasional friend dropping by. And today, we visited a new church. I knew no one, and not a single person even said hi.

But yet, I’m happy. How? Well, there are two reasons. The first is I have an AWESOME God, and He is always there. He cares for me, and He knows me better then I do. He will never leave me, and He is my strength. As one of my favorite songs says, “I have a shelter in the storm, when troubles poor upon me…though fears are rising like a flood, my soul can rest securely…Oh Jesus I will hide in you, my place of peace and solace”.

The second reason is that I finally get to go on a Fall Hike with my church’s Youth Group today! The first (and possibly the only) Hike I will be going on this year. And better yet, afterwards we will be playing Ultimate Frisbee, the best game EVER… In the rain! YES! Ha ha

So obviously I’m not excited at all. 😉

–CCG