Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Eve - The Mother of All Living

That sound - oh no! It's Him! Adam - where's Adam? I now I shouldn't have done it. Why did I let that snake trick me into eating the forbidden fruit? Why did I do it? Adam ate some too, but I know that's no excuse...

Oh! He's getting closer! We need to hide... Here! Behind these trees. But no, He knows where we are. He's getting closer... He's calling out to us... Soon we'll have to tell Him what we did. Why did I allow myself to be deceived??


Eve was the very first woman created. She was made entirely perfect, and lived with her husband Adam in fellowship with God. Placed in a garden, she must have had an ideal life. She could pick any food that she wanted, and probably even played with the animals. The life of luxury, it would seem. What more could one want?

Eve was created after Adam, in order to be his helper. God knew that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), so He provided Adam with a companion perfectly suitable for him, to help, love, and support him. The creation of woman was very unique. She was made after God could find no other suitable helper for Adam (Genesis 2:20).

God created Eve from Adam, fashioning her out of a rib taken from Adam's side. She wasn't made from his head, to rule over him, or his feet to be walked upon. Instead, she was made from his rib, his side, to support and uphold him. *edit* (Point taken from Matthew Henry) *edit* Thus, she was taken out of man, to be "bone of bone and flesh of flesh" (Genesis 2:23) and was appropriately called, "woman".

Right after God brought Eve to Adam, He established the sacredness of marriage. He said:

For This reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh - Genesis 2:24

Marriage is for life, for the one flesh is not to be pulled asunder.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. - Mark 10:9

God also gave a command to the man and woman, blessing them and saying:

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. - Genesis 1:28

Adam and Even had a very special job together. They were to be fruitful and multiply! God didn't say to them, "Well, if you want to have children, go ahead. I created you with the ability to do so, if you wish." It was mandatory for them to have children, so that they wouldn't die out! And indeed, God viewed children as a blessing, calling them a "reward" in Psalm 127:3. Thus, we see that one of the most natural and wonderful things a woman can do after she is married, is to bear children.

Eve lived in the garden for some time, enjoying God's creation and the fellowship with Him; also living in perfect harmony with everything. However, things were about to change.

Satan didn't like the humans living in harmony. So, he took the form of a snake, and began trying to deceive Eve. I don't know why Satan seemed to single Eve out to cause her to sin. Perhaps he knew that she was the "weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7), and that she may have been more pliable. In any case, he tempted her with the fruit that was "good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom." (Genesis 3:6a). Eve gave in to the temptation, and ate the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was there with her. (Genesis 3:6b)

Thus, their eyes were opened, and they realized what they had done. They also realized their nakedness, and made themselves clothes. Hearing God walking in the garden, they ran away, trying to hide their shame. We see that even the most perfect people, who lived with God, sinned. God didn't want robots, so we were given a free will, but we used it to turn away from Him. Because of this, every person is now born with sin.

God found Adam and Eve among the trees and had to judge them for their sin. They tried to put the blame on each other, Adam blaming Eve, and Eve blaming the serpent. But God still judged them for what they had each done. To Eve He said:

I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. - Genesis 3:16

God judged the woman, and as a result it became very painful to bear children. He also made her desire be for her husband, with him ruling over her. In this, God set up the role of men and women in relationships, saying in Ephesians 4:23:

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church.

Because of their sin, Adam and Eve had to leave the perfect garden so that they wouldn't be able to eat from the tree of life and live forever (Genesis 3:22). Thus ended the man and woman's perfect bliss with God.

The world outside of the garden was hard. Adam had to work hard toiling to get the earth to produce. And so, he lived out God's curse to him (Genesis 3:17-19). Eve became a mother, and went through the painful childbirth.

We're not told much about Eve after this, as the next story is about her two sons, Cain and Able. After the sad things that happened to her two firstborn sons, we are told that she had another son, named Seth. It's also assumed that she had many more children, living out God's command to begin to fill the earth.

We can learn from Eve to be content and to not desire things that God has told us not to do. Look at the mess Eve got into for disobeying God's command!! Eating fruit that He had told her not to eat probably seemed like such a little thing to her. Surely it wasn't big enough to get them into much trouble! But, because of their sin, mankind was forever cursed with sin, and was now in need of a Savior. They were also kicked out of their beautiful, blissful place, and all kinds of things began to go wrong.

Next time you're tempted to do just a small thing that you know you shouldn't do, remember Eve, and reconsider! It's much better to obey God, even if it's hard.

Read all about Eve in Genesis 1:26-4:25

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What a surprise!!

Well, it started like a normal day. I woke up at 6 a.m., had devotions, ate breakfast while checking things online, and got to work on book learning. Finishing math, science, history, and Bible around 10:30 a.m., I started writing a blog post - which I suppose I shall put off posting until tomorrow. Finishing it around 11:30 a.m., I started typing it into the computer.

Suddenly, the phone rang! Recalling that mom was at a Bible study, I answered the phone, preparing to take a message. Instead, someone on the other end asked for Anna Lofgren. "This is she," I replied. Bewildered, I heard the lady on the phone say she was from some organization, and that I'd been nominated for the sweetest girl award! I was really thrown off. "What phony thing is this?" I wondered to myself. To the lady I said, "Who is this??" "Guess," she replied. "Well.... Is it Betsy?" I wondered. (Betsy was my counselor at dance camp, and the person on the phone kind of sounded like her). "No this is Jennifer Duff!" the voice replied. I was totally shocked. I had just gotten a phone call from my twin in Nebraska!

Jennifer and I "met" through email and blogs last February. We'd figured out that we had a lot in common, and surprisingly share the exact same birthday. Since February, we've been writing epistles... I mean emails... to each other, and it's been so encouraging to find a friend who goes through the exact same things I do. We haven't met yet, but hope to as soon as possible.

It was such a joyful thing to realize that I was talking to the Jennifer - especially since I'd never even heard her voice before. To be talking to someone that I'd only written to for 8 months, yet had never talked to or seen face-to-face was so neat! We continued talking about things we'd written each other about, and she unveiled to me a really fun-sounding plan. =)

Friends are such a blessing, even those I've never met. I've had a wonderful time "meeting" new friends online, and learning from and with them. Thanks for all the encouragement you all have been to me! And thank you, Jen, for that wonderful surprise you gave me today. It was such fun!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Learning from the Women of the Bible

What's a girl to do? In the world that we live in, it's hard to find good, solid examples of Godly women. Oh, they're out there, and I am blessed to know some. However, sometimes it's still hard to know what a girl, who's striving to live for God should do. So, what better place then to go straight to the source - the Bible.

In the Bible, God has provided us with many examples of Godly women. I've long been interested in studying in-depth many women from the Bible; in the days and months ahead, I plan to do just that, sharing with you observations made and lessons learned. Though the majority of posts will probably be made by me, Miriam may also do a couple here and there. The plan is to go chronologically, starting the very first woman, and continuing through. No, we won't study every single woman, but we will study many of the ones that God tells us about. We may even study a few not-so-obedient women, to learn from them what not to emulate. Even the most Godly women weren't perfect, like every one of us. So, I hope that we'll be able to learn from their failures, as well as their successes. As wise women, we should not only learn from our own mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others.

Neither Miriam nor I claim to be great Bible scholars, knowing Greek and Hebrew meanings. However, I hope that you can learn along with us, as we share gems mined from the pages of God's Word. We'd also greatly enjoy hearing from you, via the comments sections, about things that stand out to you, or other things we may not have mentioned about each particular woman. That way, we can also learn from each other.

Will you join us on this journey through God's Word, to see what God commends and judges about those women who have gone before us? I can't wait!

Check back within the next few days for the first installment of this series: Eve, the Mother of All.

Trip To Cheaha

On Sunday, our family and a friend went to Cheaha State Park for the day. We went hiking to Bald Rock, and Chinnabee Falls. We checked out the campsites for possible future camping trips. It was refreshing in the mountains, although rather humid. It was an altogether enjoyable day.




My brother Caleb, and I.



The boardwalk trail to Bald Rock.

The view from Bald Rock. Lovely!

My brother Andrew under a rock arch.

My sister Esther, and I on a ledge at Bald Rock.


My brother Joel, and his friend Jon right on the edge at Bald Rock.
From the left: Jon and Joel.

Cheaha Pictures

Esther, Daddy and I on a ledge at Bald Rock.
Caleb on a rock in the woods.
A hawk we saw at Bald Rock.
The trail to Chinnabee Falls.
Our destination viewed from the trail. Almost there!
Chinnabee Falls.
Esther under an enormous rock.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Elijah!


Happy birthday, dear brother! Today you're quite a bit older than the above picture... 18 years old in fact! I still remember some of when we were little, however; you always took care of me and made me feel special. Thank you so much for all the times we've talked, and laughed, played games and hung out together. Thank you for being such a gentleman and treating me like a lady. Thank you for understanding sometimes when no one else seemed to.

I miss you today. I think this is the first of your birthdays that I haven't been with you to share. I hope you have a good day at college today! It's still sinking in that you're actually gone. I keep expecting to see you, and then I don't. I'm looking forward to visiting you on Saturday, however!

I hope God blesses you today, more than you could ask or even imagine! I love you!

"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness." - 1 Timothy 6:11

Your loving little sis, forever,
Anna, also know as Nanzer

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Visit to Georgia: Little Falls

After visiting Toccoa Falls, Lydia led us on a 20-30 minute hike to Little Falls. It may have been little, but it was very beautiful! (Are you tired of water yet? These are the last pictures, I promise!)

Little Falls

We had fun wading in the cool water. This is the upper part of Little Falls.

"And did you see her hem? Six inches deep in mud!" - Pride and Prejudice

I'll do ballet just about anywhere...

We sat in the shade, cooled our feet, and talked for a while

Monday, September 18, 2006

Visit to Georgia: Toccoa Falls

After going to the campus church with Lydia, and eating lunch in the cafeteria, we embarked on our next hike. We first went to the Toccoa Falls; it is actually a higher waterfall than Niagra Falls, it just doesn't have quite as much water going over the top. It was only a few minutes walk, and it was very majestic! Lydia's very blessed to have such beauty on her college campus!

Toccoa Falls

The water was so pretty!

For a while we just sat and admired the beauty of God's creation.

Visit to Georgia: Hurricane Falls

My apologies to anyone who may be tired of pictures, or who might be on a slow internet connection. However, posting pictures here is much easier to allow my far-away family and friends to see. I hope you enjoy seeing the following pictures of our recent visit to Toccoa Falls, Georia, to visit Lydia at college. It was fun seeing her again, and the waterfalls were beautiful!

Pretty soon after arriving at Lydia's college, we set out on our first adventure. The first hike we took was to Hurricane Falls, a 20-30 minute drive from Toccoa Falls College - with us 4 Lofgren girls crammed into a backseat. =) It was a lot of fun, however. Surprisingly, I actually found myself enjoying the 1-2 hour hike - this from a girl who used to hate any hiking whatsoever! It was fun to be in God's beautiful creation, and the walk was very refreshing, despite the (literally) thousands of steps.

Hurricane Falls was beautiful!
'Twas so picturesque

There were many different overlooks to see the waterfall


With my dearly missed Lydia

Miriam and I take a rest on the rail

Friday, September 15, 2006

An Heirloom

Last Christmas, my Aunt Marcia brought me a 4-piece china set that belonged to her and my dad's mother. It is gorgeous with gold edges and flowers. My sister and I are her only granddaughters that aren't married into the family, and my Aunt wanted me to have it.I felt so honored and blessed that she would give it to me, and when I thought about it, I realized that a couple of years ago she probably wouldn't have given it to me. I was more of a run-around and play in the woods girl, but I recently started helping more in the house and cooking more and becoming more responsible. I feel so happy that I was able to earn the responsibility of an heirloom.

A saucer from the tea set.

A cup and saucer from the tea set.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Learning to Teach

When I was younger, I never wanted to be a teacher. When asked, I would respond, "Oh no! I don't think I'd have the patience to teach!" I've always hoped to homeschool my own children one day, but to teach others? I didn't think it was for me.

I went to a drama camp the summer of 2004. There, we learned about the different roles people have in putting on a play. When we got to the role of director, I decidedly remarked to myself, "I never want to be a director." Fast-forward to the summer of 2005, and you find me directing and acting in the musical Esther-Ordinary Faith. What's more, I actually enjoyed it and hope to direct again in the future. Little did I know how much I would change.

Teaching used to scare me quite a bit - and in many instances, it still does. However, with God's help, I'm doing it. I am a teacher. I used to think that I'd be an awful teacher. I've been blessed with the gift of teaching myself many things, and catching on to most things quickly. Many things that are hard for others to learn, sometimes seem to come to me naturally. Thus, the thought of struggling to help someone else learn what is easy to me seemed pretty unappealing.

Last summer when I directed the musical, something changed. When we started, I didn't want to be the director; I didn't want to be in charge of everyone, children and adults; I didn't want to have to speak out and tell everyone what to do. But I did it, and amazingly it actually wasn't as hard as it seemed.

By nature I'm a quiet person who doesn't like to speak up among people. It's hard for me to get over my timidity and take charge; nevertheless, with God's strength, I'm learning. It's one of those "Hard Things".

I'd never really thought much about teaching dance until people started asking me about it. I'd only taken for a few years when a lady at my church asked whether I'd consider teaching her daughter. I was even more shy than I am now, and I quickly told her that I didn't think I could, and suggested that her daughter take from my teacher instead. Two years ago, another lady asked if I would teach her three daughters. I began to consider it, but then decided with my mother's counsel that I shouldn't start given lessons until I could drive myself.

Now I am sixteen, and have my driver's license. And last Thursday, I began the first classes of The King's Praise Ballet.

I've always had a hard time finding quality dance training that wouldn't make me compromise my values. As a little girl, I always wanted ballet lessons, but we didn't find a Christian teacher until I was 11. When I was 13 we finally found a pointe teacher. This year, I've stopped taking from both of my old teachers, and have found a more challenging teacher, since I had gone as far as my previous teachers could teach.

Realizing that God has given me the gift of dance, I hope to pass it on to other girls. My vision is "To teach girls to praise God with dancing, using a foundation of classical ballet and incorporating interpretative movements. All moves and costumes will be modest and glorifying to God." Last summer God led me to name it The King's Praise Ballet, with the verse "I will praise You, my God The King; I will exalt Your Name for ever & ever." (Psalm 145:1)

I've started teaching two dance classes on Thursday afternoons; one class is for ages 4-6, and one is for ages 7 & up. God has blessed me with 17 students - far more than I'd ever imagined!

I am far from the perfect teacher. I have a hard time going slow, and thoroughly explaining what I'm doing. I've got a lot to learn. It's a bit of a challenge to keep the younger girls having fun and learning at the same time. However, God is good. I pray that He takes my efforts and brings good from them. I've never really been "taught," so it's a challenge to know where to start. When I started ballet, it was with other girls who had taken before, so I just had to catch on and follow as best as I could. Plus, I didn't take dance when I was 4 or 5, so it's hard to know how much the little girls can do. I learn as I go. I know I be teach perfectly - although it sure would be nice! If anything, I hope that the girls learn to praise their King, using the beautiful art of ballet.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Daddy!


Happy Birthday Daddy! I hope your next 56 years are as grand as your first! =)

Every girl wants a daddy to love her, to dance with her, to take care of her, and to tell her she's beautiful. Thank you for being that father to me! I love you!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Peace


"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you ast the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another Tiered Skirt



I just this morning finished my tiered skirt that looks just like Anna's, but it's a different color and pattern. I was getting so excited near the end to see it taking shape and looking forward to wearing it. When I had attached the first tier, I took it downstairs and showed it to my Dad, and asked him if it was long enough (joking, of course), and he promptly shook his head. I did the same thing with the second tier, and so on until I finally was able to show him the finished product. I love it when Daddy likes what I wear.

I want to please God and my parents in the way I dress, and I want to be able to influence others in the way I dress and act. Thankfully I'm not alone in my resolution. I don't wear dresses and skirts all the time, but I wear them a good bit, and Anna helps to encourage me.
Thanks Anna for the being the greatest friend!

A Delightful Saturday

Yesterday we had the delightful opportunity to go to the wedding of Kressant Smith and Michael Morton Jr. It was a beautiful wedding! For the wedding, Miriam and Esther Hart and Jubilee and I wore our matching Colonial dresses. It was so much fun! They make one feel like a princess. The wedding was held in a beautiful spot in Georgia, just perfect for pictures. Hope you enjoy some of the ones we took.

The four flowers, as my daddy took to calling us. Jubilee in green, Esther in purple, Miriam in blue, and myself in pink. Such fun matching dresses are!

It 'twas a lovely place with lots of shade and benches to enhance good conversation. Here, the Lofgren and Hart daddys talk.

Our now small Lofgren family. I miss the rest of our family!

Miriam and I just couldn't resist getting a few more pictures together. Daddy was kind enough to be the photographer.

Jubi and Esther are good friends as well!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Do Not Worry


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippinas 4:6-7

How many times do we disregard this verse? How many times do we get caught up in all we need to accomplish and start fretting about the day? If you're like me, it may happen quite a lot! But, we don't need to worry. God has everything under control. If we present our problems to Him, He will help us and give us peace. Slow down, thank our Father for all He's done, and remember to smile. It will help make the day a little brighter...

Picture taken by Elijah Lofgren