Saturday, December 7, 2013

Prayer, a Picture of Dependence

"P.T. Forsyth once said, 'The worst sin is prayerlessness.' Does this statement surprise us? We usually think of murder and adultery as among the worst offenses against God and humanity. But the root of all sin is self-sufficiency--independence from the rule of God. When we fail to wait prayerfully for God's guidance and strength, we are saying with our actions, if not with our words, that we do not need. Him. How much of our service is actually a 'going it alone'?" 
~ Charles E. Hummel
Tyranny of the Urgent

If you understand the depravity of humankind, the thought that you are self-sufficient and can successfully walk through life alone is laughable. Until you realize that you often live as though you were sufficient, not prayerfully waiting upon and seeking the Lord.

Perhaps you have been there? You say that without Him you are nothing, you admit that there is no good in you, but you go about life, rarely stopping to speak with the Lord. You life is full, you are too busy. Any prayers are whispered on the run, and most often consist of "help me, help them, bless us" and little else.

What kind of relationship is that? You never stop to listen, never stop to have deep conversation. Isn't it hollow, empty? Doesn't it say that you do not need them/Him to exist? That you can "go it alone"?

I've been there. More times then I wish to count. Oh, thanks be to the God of mercy Who opens our eyes that we might see!

My prayer today, as we enter this holiday season, is that we will realize that the most important thing we can do, the most urgent thing, is to stop and spend time in prayer. He is the source of good, He is the One Who saves the lost, it is in Him alone that we have hope and that we can offer hope.

"Be Thou my strong habitation, where unto I may continually resort."
Psalm 71:3

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Asked the Lord

A friend recently shared this hymn with me. It is fast becoming a favorite.
I Asked the Lord
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell

Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”
~John Newton

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jesus, Lift My Eyes


Jesus, I lift my eyes to the heavens
Where does my help come from
You, O my Lord
My heart has a thousand words to say
Please, Lord, turn burdens into praise
from "Jesus, Lift My Eyes" by the Pat Little Band

"Please, Lord, turn burdens into praise." Lord, not only the burdens of this life that sometimes threaten to overwhelm, but also the burden of having a thousands of words to say in worship of You and no way to express them all in this lifetime. You are my help, and when I lift my eyes to the heavens I am reminded of Your grace and faithfulness. Both of which I do not deserve, but still You lovely grant anyway. May Your praise ever be on my lips!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Washed White As Snow

Do you ever find that grace is hard to comprehend, especially the grace of God? Have you ever struggled not to view yourself as the blackest and most vile of sinners even after salvation? Someone whom God has slopped the white paint of His grace over, much like someone slopping white paint on a black wall, trying to hide the darkness but failing so that blackness peeks through and shadows the white. You see yourself as though you are only a partly covered by His grace, but underneath is your pitch black soul. You think, but how could He love me, does He not see my sin, my worthlessness and failings? You fight this idea of grace, freely given, that washes you bleached white. Grace that is not poorly covering your sin, but grace that has washed it all away as totally as bleach washes your mother's sheets crisp and spotless white.
"But how could anyone love me that much if they really knew what I am?"
This is the mystery, the greatness, that has left generations in awe. There is no human reasoning that could explain a love like His. A love that sees, not passed our sin, but sees us as though we had never sinned. Who does not see us as we once were, but as we never can be on earth, sinless, flawless, perfect.
There is nothing we can do to attain this perfection in His eyes. No number of works or words. It is the amazing grace extended to us, the righteousness of His own Son.
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

For This Too, Will I Trust

Sometimes living in the past holds an appeal. You wish you could go back and be there again. "But, why?" I asked myself. "Is it the appeal of knowing what happened already and knowing that there would not be any surprises? Or at least, not surprises in a bad way."
I pause. I sit back. I play the past through my head. It is like an old friend. I know the twists and turns it will take. It is sweetly familiar. I smile.
My mind turns again to the question at hand and I look deep at the future. It is filled with possibilities. It is like lump of clay that could be molded in one of thousands of ways before being painted, textured, fired in another thousand ways. It has endless possibilities, but until the artist begins to mold and make, it is just a lifeless lump of nothingness. It has no beauty. No shape. Only the artist knows what it will be and what processes it will go through to arrive at that more refined and beautiful shape.
Life is like that. We look forward and see a thousand possibilities, and a thousand ways to get to them. We do not know what the end of our life will look like, when we will reach it, or what processes we will go through to reach that, hopefully, more refined, sanctified, and beautiful imitation of our Savor. Until the Artist has finished His working on and within our lives, we cannot guess at the outcome. We can pray for and work towards a desired oneness with Him, but only by the workings of His grace in us will we reach such a desired end.
"Yes, perhaps," I mused. "Perhaps this is the appeal in the past. We know the outcome because we have already reach it. The future stands before us nameless and shapeless and it requires trust."
Trust. How hard it is to trust. And yet, as Ann Voskamp states in her memorable way in One Thousand Gifts, "If God didn't withhold from us His very own Son, will God withhold anything we need?"
He has already fulfilled our biggest need. Eradicated our biggest need of fear. Why is it then that we do not trust? Why is it that we are tempted to wish ourselves back in time, standing in trembling fear of what lies ahead? Why do we doubt the One who has already been more faithful than we could ever be? More loving, kind, and merciful that we could ever deserve?
I pause. I look into the brilliant display of evening colors and my heart sings. Wordless praise flows forth to the One who holds my tomorrow. It is like reaching forth to place my hand once more in the work-worn hand of the Master artist. A pray whispers forth from my lips, "Lord, make me more like You. Mold me more and more into your likeness with each passing hour."
"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay,
and thou our potter; and we all are the
work of thy hand."
~ Isaiah 64:8

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to
sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and they faithfulness every night." ~ Psalm 92:1-2

Friday, September 27, 2013

And Then...It Didn't Happen

There was a determined air to her little chin as she jutted it out as if to dared anyone to challenge her. She was five and she was already tired of the looks people gave down their noses when she answered their all important question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" They could laugh and sneer and pass those "knowing" looks around her for a hundred years and that could not change the dream buried deep within her little girl heart. Yes, despite all the scorn she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. She wanted to be a wife and a mother. She wanted to keep a house, change dippers, wipe little faces, and be there to welcome her husband home at the end of a long day.
Maybe her thoughts were not quite as detailed as that, but over time they would grow to be. At five she never even doubted it would happen. At twelve, sixteen, eighteen and even twenty she never doubted and her dream stood strong. And then, after that as each year passed, doubts began to creep in and the dream began to crack just a little and the sureness she had once had began to waver. Would it fall?
Are you that girl? Are you passing up your twenties with the speed of a freight train on a rickety track feeling that any minute you may come to a bridge that will not hold your dreams up and they will come crashing down all around you? You wanted nothing more than to marry young and thought that by now you would have a house full of little ones. Only, it didn't happen.
So now what? What do you do with those desires? And are those desires being shaped in God glorifying ways?
I recently sat down to write, to try to make sense of the many thoughts and questions that whirled in my own head. While I was sitting there, fingers poised over the keys, questions began to pop out on the page. "What is it that I desire from marriage? Why do I desire these things? Are they godly desires or selfish ones?"
Those were some deep questions but I really did want know my heart answers. As is often my habit when I have something to think through, I slipped on my shoes and set out on a walk, book and pen in hand.
As I walked answers did not magically appear, instead, even more questions crammed themselves out through my pen and onto the spaces between the lines. "Why is that I desire marriage? Is it so that I can give, or so that I can take? Is the appeal in having someone to share my life with, or is it sharing someone else's life with them? Is it about my plans being accomplished, or is it about God's plans being fulfilled? Is it about my success and my dreams coming true. Is it about my happiness?

Now, I know that these questions are not an answer to what you should do with your own desires for marriage. And I know that they probably are not consolation to a lonely heart and that they probably cannot mend the cracks in your dreams. They cannot wipe away any doubts you may be having in the likelihood of your own wedding ever being more than a board on Pinterest, but maybe, just maybe they can show you some areas in your thought life that are a little warped. Perhaps you might find that some of your desires are more selfish and less godly, and what better time to realize that than now? Now when you have an opportunity to seek the Lord's strength in realigning your desires with His before your emotions become entangled in a relationship.
Maybe I do not have any more answers than you do, but I do know that for you, and for me, and for every other person who has dreams that they feel are crumbling, that God has a plan and it is perfect. How do I know this? Because each day as I seek to align my dreams with His plans He has been showing me that His hands are in the smallest of details. Do not despair my friend, He is faithful. Seek after Him with all your heart and He will meet you there.

"For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul
with goodness." ~ Psalm 107:9


Thursday, September 26, 2013

What He Must be for Me

How many times I have heard girls talk about having lists of what "he must be.' The "he" of course referring to the man she one day hopes to marry. He must be godly, good looking, smart, funny, kind, generous, joyful, encouraging, etc. In fact he must be just short of perfect.
The list changes as years pass, and hopefully it gets a little more realistic as the girl realizes that men aren't perfect. People aren't perfect. And yet, I have made one observation that frankly bothers me. So many of us think more on what he or she must be for us than we think about what we should be for him or her.
For example, have you ever met a young lady who is in her twenties heading towards thirties who laments being single? Like all the time. This same lady also makes comments indicating she would be happy if she didn't get one more wedding invitation because weddings are just too hard to attend because they remind her of how very single she is. She may say it jokingly, and perhaps a part of her doesn't mean it, but at the same time it's pretty obvious to everyone that part of her does mean it.
Now I'm not saying there haven't been days when I've looked at all my friends marrying their best friends and wished that I was headed down that same road as well. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't. I think it is natural and if handled well, it can even be okay. However, that isn't the point of this post. What I'm getting at is how attractive is it when a girl "pouts" and appears to be jealous of what others have?
Girls, I'm putting this to you. Would you be attracted to a young man who sarcastically jokes about not wanting to go to anymore weddings because they are just too hard to get through? Would you be tripping over each other to get to a man who laments his state of singleness at every turn and sounds, well, to put it bluntly, jealous. Would you pray for a man who character is marred by a tendency to have pity parties on a regular basis?
Yes, I am aware that the many of you may think a guy's lot in life is different because, after all, he can pursue a girl anytime. He just needs to get out there and do it! Right? Well, maybe, but what about the guy who isn't in an area where there are suitable young women, as in, maybe he is surrounded by woman of another religion? Or what about the guy who is held back by circumstances totally out of his control? You get the point. Let's just forget all that and suppose there was a guy out there who was acting like what I have described. Would you be attracted to him? I'm confidant you wouldn't. After all, who wants to marry someone who is jealous and swimming in his own pity pool party of tears?
The bottom line is this. You have a list of what he must be, but what about if he has list of what you must be? How would you measure up?
Our goal in life isn't to make the best spouse or to even get married, at least, it shouldn't be. But, for any role in life we should work to obtain skills that will help us be successful. That includes the area of marriage.
It's okay, I'm not saying you can't keep your list of what he should be (perhaps I should tackle my opinion of "what he should be" lists in another post!), just remember he might have a list too. If you expect him to live up to your expectations, then maybe you should be striving to live up to his? This might include letting go of that pity party tissue and seeking the Lord in a whole new way so that your life begins to overflow with the joy of the Lord and thankfulness for the little blessings in each day.


"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all they diseases; Who redeemeth they life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies." ~ Psalm 103: 1-4

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Something to Ponder

"With so many choices, it's no surprise that we are always thinking about the greener grass on the other side of the fence. We are always pondering what could be better or what might be nicer about something or someone new. 'Decide' comes from the Latin word decider, meaning 'to cut off,' which explains why decisions are so hard these days. We can't stand the thought of cutting off any of our options. If we choose A, we feel the sting of not having B and C and D. As a result, every choice feels worse than no choice at all. And when we do make an important choice, we end up with buyers' remorse, wondering if we are setting for second best. Or, worse yet, we end up living in our parents basement indefinitely as we try to find ourselves and hear God's voice. Our freedom to do anything and go anywhere ends up feeling like bondage more than liberty, because decision making feels like pain not pleasure."
~ Kevin DeYoung
Just Do Something p. 37

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Restless Days

Previously written

Restless days. We've all had them. They are the days when your mind all but refuses to focus on what is at hand and where everything you know you should do seem pointless. If you are like me, it also means many longing glances out of the window, wishing you were out climbing some far off hills, enjoying a quite day with nature and your quickly moving thoughts.
What do we do with restless days? Days when we struggle to find contentment in anything at all. When everything we have doesn't seem like enough, and what we don't have looks unrealistically green and inviting?
Turn our thoughts to praise. At least, that is something I have found to calm the agitated heart and mind. When I have no rest it is easy to get caught up in what I don't have and longing for those things. On those days, usually later rather than sooner, I am reminded that there is nothing that fills the longing heart more fully then the Lord. Spending time counting my blessings and praising His name has a way of grounding me. What I wanted seems to fade behind that which I have been given. I deserve none of it, and yet it was freely given to me.
My restless day is ending well. A heart full of praise, hope, and peace. A sense of knowing that I'm right where I need to be.

Monday, July 8, 2013


"Do we never hear the question "What is the harm of it?" asked about reading certain books, following certain pursuits, taking our recreation in certain ways? Perhaps… we need change of thought and rest of brain. "What is the harm of the latest novel, even if it happens to be rather unprofitable?" And we (who have not time to read one out of a thousand of the real books that have been written) spend a precious hour by deliberate choice over something not worthwhile; and when our immediate world interrupts us, breaking in upon us with some call, do we find that we come back to it with quite undistracted gladness?" ~Amy Carmichael

When I read this quote I replaced  "real books" with "real book." With the Bible. How often when I "need" change of thought or rest of brain to I turn to things other than the Bible? Other than God.
 I read fiction, watch a movie, chat with friends, write in my journal. Those things aren't perhaps bad, but are they really the rest my soul desires?

I realize that I have been building a habit of turning my brain off, of avoiding the things which trouble me instead of taking them to God. Instead of seeking His Word. True rest is in trusting Him with the unseen, not running from it.
I give thanks to the God of grace who is continually working to conform me into His likeness!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Seek Him Every Morning

"There are no shortcuts to Christlikeness. Shortcuts only lead to masquerading. There is no substitute for spending consistent time alone in His presence. The cost is great. But the rewards are even greater. If we want to be transformed, we must be willing to:

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;

Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word...

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Much time spend in secret with Jesus alone;

By looking to Jesus, like Him though shalt be;

The friend in they condeuct His likeness shall see.

~ Willeam D. Longstaff (1822-94)"
A Place of Quiet Rest
~Nancy Leigh DeMoss


I know I have written several times about the urgent need in all of our lives for prayer, but recently in I was remind again of how important prayer is.

Sometimes in all my bustling around I slack in the one area of my life that should always remain consistent. Prayer. Again and again I have reaped the fruits of my lack of faithfulness in seeking my Maker. I have been overwhelmed, discouraged, and lacking direction.

When I finally sit down to ask myself why things have been going so badly, why I am so frustrated at every turn, I usually do not have to search my heart long to discover that I have been doing it again. I have been trying to do everything alone.

So often God has used circumstances, things that push me to my limits, to remind me that I need Him. That I cannot hope to cope with all life throws at me, alone. I need Him, and I need to seek Him out daily.

What are some things that encourage you to be consistent in your prayer life?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Love Is Not...


I was young and foolish and he was the first one to walk into my life that seemed to measure up to all of the "qualifications", and who had a heart for the Lord that was something more than I had ever hoped to see. Yes, my expectations were frightfully low, but then I did not realize that, or if I did, I was afraid to hope for more because one cannot have everything one wants, right?
He was of the "right" age, height, build (Hey, didn't I mention I was immature?), and like I said he loved the Lord. What was not to love? So foolishly I let my emotions become entangled in fantasies of how I could be the happiest girl in the world if only he would look at me twice.
All to often young girls allow their emotions run away with them. For me, I based my happiness on whether or not a man that I didn't even know that well would pay me just a little attention. If he did not I felt crushed, and if he so much as said, "Hello!" I was walking on clouds. Our joy in life is not to be wrapped up in man, but in the Lord. If our only joy in life is based on the love or attention of a man we will end up with broken hearts and an empty life, because the fact is, he wouldn't be enough. He would not be able to fulfill all of our needs. Only God can do that.
I've learned a bit since then (I hope!). My understanding of love doubtlessly still has room for growth, but I know that mere infatuation is not the same as true love. Infatuation is selfish and wishes to be satisfied, while love is selfless and seeks to give.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Letting Go of All Control

My heart beat quickly as I searched, hoping for just a whisper of what it was I was supposed to do. The sky spread vastly, with no seeming end above. The stars twinkled brightly back at me. "Lord", I whispered as I gazed up at the sky, awed by the beauty of one of His most amazing masterpieces. "I don't know what to do."
As I stood beneath the twinkling lights that have always spoken of me of His mighty love, tears slipped down my cheeks. Desperation and reeling thoughts filled my head and heart to the point where they felt ready to explode. Desires that I could not explain by mare words caused a tightness in my chest. I wanted answers, I had none. "Lord, why? Why can't I understand?"
The darkness around me was like a curtain, hiding my tears from the world, but not from the Father. I did not understand, and it was hard. Very hard. But on that still dark night as I walked under the stars, with a deep and most urgent question (or so it seemed at the time) pressing so near, after a while I did hear a whisper.
"Trust me. Trust that I know what plans I have for You. Trust that I will be your strength through whatever may come. Trust that I love you more than you will ever deserve or comprehend. Trust that, though you do not understand, this is for your good."
There were many tears, many questions of "why?" but as the night wore on I knew that I was fighting a loosing battle. I knew I had to surrender, to let go, and it wasn't easy. I held my hands open, palms towards the starry host, head back, eyes closed. "Here, Father. Please take it. It's broken. It's hurting. It's weak. But, take my heart, take my desires, take my questions, take my doubts. Help me rest in You, trusting that You will never let me go. If it hurts, let it, if only it will bring You glory. Make that my only desire, Lord."
Trusting is not always easy, and I am not sure it was meant to be. If it were easy, if there were no struggles, then would our hearts be drawn nearly as close to our Lord's? Would our love grow as we learned of the gentleness and care He gives to our broken and bleeding lives? I think not. Growing and trusting are hard, but in the difficulties, there is a glorious purpose. We say we will do anything or give anything to only know and love Him more. When it hurts...that is the time we are called to give it all, every single particle, to the One who will never let us go. When the one you trust loves you, then the fear can fade away, and the peace of not walking alone can fill your heart. But first, you have to be willing to let go...even if it hurts.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Standing on the Rock

Recently we had rain. We have not had much in a while, so it was a real blessing. After the rain the air was so fresh and cool that I just "had" to go out and explore a little. I found the acreage behind the house had turned into a shallow pond. Beyond that was a "fort" my siblings had dug into the ground, so I had to go see if it was full or not. I waded through water and mud and finally was able to see into the trenched out fort. It was full of rain water and the dirt walls that my siblings had piled around it where becoming so saturated by the water from the neighboring field, that they were beginning to fall into the murky water filled trench.
You know, sometimes we are like those saturated wall. We know that we are called by our Lord to be in the world, but not of it, but sometimes we stand just as close as we can get to the world, looking over at it. "It can't hurt us" we say. But the world's influnces are many and they slowly but surely can flow in and surround us if we let our guard down, much like the rain water from the neighbors field slowly seeped in and surround my siblings dirt walls surround their fortress, their safe place.
Before we realize it, the ways of the world begin to seep into our lives and saturate us, and we begin to crumble. The walls that were once strong, standing against the evil of the world become soft and our standards which were once high slip lower and lower until people looking on can no longer can see the difference. Then they may ask, "So, if you are a Christian and I am not and yet we speak the same, we dress the same, we like the same music and movies, why do I need Jesus? Why do you?" And what opportunities we may have had to witness have been swallowed up in the murky waters that we though could not harm us.
Any good that is in man, is there by the grace of the Lord. There may be times when we are tempted to think that the world cannot hurt us because we are too strong. But, the fact is, if we do not surround ourselves with the Word of the Lord to the point of becoming saturated in it, and if we are not continually seeking Him and are not continually on our guard, we will fall. It is not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Why, because in and of ourselves we are weak. We cannot stand...but for Him. 
Everyday is a battle. Our hope and safety from the murky sin filled water of the world is on top of the Solid Rock. He is our strength, our stronghold. Are you standing firmly on the Rock? 

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him."
Nahum 1:7

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Greatest Gift


"If we have the slightest clue about being bought by the blood of Jesus, we won't see how much we can get away with. We'll see how much we can honor Him. True, there is not a sin that you or I could muster up that would make God say, 'I don't love you anymore.' But that doesn't mean we have the right to take His grace for granted." ~ David Nasser

If we know what a sacrifice was made for us by Jesus, if we grasped how much He gave of Himself for us, then we could not help but to live every moment of every day in a way that honors and pleases Him. Think of it like this, if someone nearly died saving your child (or insert your mother, father, or dearest loved one's name here) from a raging fire, would you not be grateful to that person and show them gratitude? Would you not do whatever was in your power to show them that you valued their willingness to, if need be, sacrifice their very life trying to save the one you love with all your heart?

Well, Jesus did that. He died to save your loved one from a fire bigger and hotter than any forest fire. He also died to save you from the same fate. And would you dare to be anything but grateful for that sacrifice? Should you not live a life of gratitude? Should you not do your best to honor Him? Yes, we will all fail, we will all sin, we will never be perfect on this earth. I get that. But, shouldn't we seek everyday to live in a way that says "thank you" for the great sacrifice of the cross instead of pushing limits to see how much we can "get away with"? 

If we really understand grace, and the price of the gift given to us by our Heavenly Father through His only Son, we can't take it for granted.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lost in the Sand

April 15, 2013
I am the type of person who likes to make up her own, "quotes." For each season of life I make up little sayings, often drawing from Scripture, and things I have heard or read. These little phrases may be ones I hang onto for only a day, or maybe on that is with me for a week. If I were to make one for today it would be, "In times of drought, trust in the Maker and Sender of rain, for He shall surely quench your deepest thirst."
There are times as we walk the paths of life where dryness comes to our souls. Darkness shades our way and we cannot make out what the "road signs" so. We stand at this crossroad of the heart, unsure of which way to go. Left or right? There seems to be no hope, no reason to keep on keeping on. The joy to which we once danced to, slips away...and all we hear is silence.
In such times I have learned to cling with every fiber of my being to the truth of His Word. Maybe it does not speak so clearly to my heart, but I just keep on trusting in the truths that He has promised. I do not always know why the dry times come, but I know that I have always made it through them before...and I trust that I will once more.
If we have not trust and faith in the unseen, then we have no faith at all. It is how we act and react in the times of drought that truly show how much we truly trust in the unseen Almighty God.
If you are going through a time where God seems sooooooo far away, let me encourage you to soak in the Word and to trust in what you cannot see, clinging to His promises. He will not let you die of thirst. He will be your Spring of Life.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Law of God

Some say that we are no longer under the Law of the Old Testament. That the Old Testament is just there so we can know history and see where we came from. I disagree. Obviously there are areas of the Law of the Old Testament that we no longer have to live under because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, like the many sacrifices that were required of God's children back then, but there is much of the law that we are still to keep.
Jesus, Himself, stated, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:17-18).
Without the Law we would have no standards, and without standards how would we know the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness? The Bible states in 1 John 2:3-6, " And herby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." So, to recap, he who loves God will keep God's commandments -- or law?
Maybe you want to argue that our faith is not to be of works, but of grace. There is truth to that. Ephesians 3:8-10 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ultimately we are saved by God's grace. We cannot save ourselves by our own works. This is a fundamental truth that cannot be argued, but we should not stop there. The verse goes on to say, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works" or as some translations state, "for good works."
We were created to glorify God, we can do this, in part, through good works. We show God that we love Him by obeying Him and following His commandments -- obeying His Law. By doing that which His Word commands, by His grace, we will love others, which means we will serve others, which means we will do that which people consider to be "works." These works will not save us, no, because we have already been saved by grace through faith in the Son of God which is the only way we can be saved. No, these works are not our salvation, these works are the result of our salvation in Christ. They are an out pouring of our love for God.
This is a huge topic, and one that takes much thought and discussion to get to the bottom of. My thoughts in writing was to encourage you to study the topic for yourself. There are so many things that we have been told we should believe, even in our churches, that are not firmly grounded in God's Word. We should not blindly believe everything we hear, but take everything and hold it up against the Word of God to verify whether it is actual truth or a convincing lie.
The God that many supposedly Christian churches teach of is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is a God of order, a God of justice, a God of unfathomable love and mercy, but He is not a God who condones those who live in sin and disobey His commandments. If you think I am wrong, read His Word for yourself from cover to cover. I have, and it has challenged the way that I believe, the way that I think, and the way that I live. I am not perfect, but daily being conformed into His image. My prayer is that you too, will be drawn closer to Him through His truth each day.
"It is not the Law which separates me from God; it is my violation of that Law (sin)." ~ Michael Davis

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For Him Alone

"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." ~ Isaiah 53:10
This verse is one of the many that stood out to me as I made my way through the book of Isaiah this last week. I could comment on many things the verse says and what it speaks to my heart, but for the sake of time, I will stick to one little phrase.
"the pleasure of the LORD"
As I read through Isaiah, that phrase and others like it continued to stand out to me. "For mine own sake" (Isaiah 48:11), "He will do His pleasure" (Isaiah 48:14), and many others. Over and over and over the truth that all things are for God, for His pleasure, for His glory, for His honor, and for His purposes.
If all things are for the Lord and His purposes, than it means that each day we live, the hard - the boring - the terrifying, somehow fit into His bigger picture.
Let me ask you a question? If you have had a really tough day, is it easy for you to get downhearted and to be tempted to question God's wisdom with, "Why, Lord?" What if we thought instead, "Lord, I don't know why today has to be so hard, but I trust that it is for Your pleasure and for Your purposes. Show me how I can live out this day in such a way as to only add to that pleasure and purpose. Help me to be faithful with this charge that You have given."
I am finding that if I keep in mind that all things are for Him, than it changes my whole perspective and how I live each day, the good or the hard.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


"As a leader, you can remain available to mentor others. This means you may get less done in the present, but you will actually accomplish far more in the future by pouring your life into the people who can carry on those things that are nearest and dearest to your heart."

Sometimes as I juggle life's many roles, I get so focused on my plans that I began to shove relationships aside. I close all the doors and make myself unavailable to others so that I can check each item off my lengthy to-do list without interruption. Have you ever found yourself doing that?
When I came across these words yesterday, I stopped. My eyes grew a little wider as I realized that the picture the authors had painted was just what I wanted to be, but just what I was furthest from being.
So what if I completed all the items on my forever growing lists of things to do? In the end, what would it all amount to? If I had not taken time to invest in the lives of others, teaching them and helping them grow so that they are able to carry on with those things that are nearest and dearest to my heart, then have I not failed?
I will not live forever. Not even close. At the end of my race, when I am drawing my last breath. When I look back over life, will I see nothing but the doors I slammed in the faces of those seeking my assistance, or will I see the flourishing and vibrant trees that have sprung from the investments I was willing to make...sometimes at the cost of my own personal goals?
What can I do to be more available to others? What might I have to give up for the present time? Am I pouring my life into others in such a way that they may better carry out those purposes ,are not only the nearest and dearest to my heart, but also to the Lord's?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

CollegePlus Leadership Capstone Event

If I could sum up the CollegePlus Leadership Learning and Execution Capstone in Colorado in just a few words, it would be, life changing.
We arrived Tuesday afternoon and from the very moment I met with the first 11 people in the group and we boarded our shuttle, I knew that this was going to be one of the most amazing weeks of my life. The awkwardness of meeting each other for the first time lasted only a few minutes. Once we had boarded the shuttle, life stories began to be told.
Hearing about how the Lord had worked in each of these people's lives and how that had brought them to this very moment on a shuttle headed for the Estes Park YMCA of the Rockies was inspiring. None of us were there by chance. There was no doubt in my mind that God had brought us together for purposes far greater then we could even imagine.
As the week progressed and we learned from Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit, you could see a change coming over the students as we each begin to learn how to tell our story, and put into practice good mentoring and coaching skills as we visited with one another. A sparkle shown in each eye as excitement for what the Lord was doing began to be realized. Here in this group of 38 students and 13 CollegePlus coaches, friendships for a lifetime were beginning to be forged. Plans for business and ministry opportunities were being expanded and suddenly went from dreams to tangible possibilities that a few months of collaboration and hard work could turn into reality. New business and ministry ideas were put forth, and in such a manner that none of us doubted that someday soon, they too, would be reality.

In four days strangers became fast friends. In four days those who were uncertain, reserved, and stood off to the side were exclaiming about how grateful they were that they had come. Those who felt hopeless about their dreams for helping to fill the desperate needs of others, like girls with low self-esteem, human trafficking victims, and orphans in Haiti had hope that their dreams did not have to remain dreams. We all had hope. Hope and an assurance that, together, we could make a difference in the world because 1) God had plans of purpose for our lives, 2) God had brought us to this place with people who shared our visions and dreams, people who would encourage us to not give up 3) we had the keys to effective coaching, mentoring, and networking that would make it possible for us to build relationships that would ensure we no longer lacked the support we needed to move forward with making a difference. We felt encouraged to tackle the highest mountain, knowing that with God, and the people He puts into our lives, nothing will be impossible (Philippians 4:13).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Live for SomeONE

"Upon his death, natives gently removed his heart and buried it in the Africa he so loved. Then his body was carried to the coast, where it was shipped back to England for burial....As the body of Livingstone was carried through the streets of London on its way to its final resting place in Westminster Abbey, one man wept openly. A friend gently consoled him, asking if he had known Livingstone personally. 'I weep not for Livingstone but for myself,' the first man said, adding, 'he lived and died for something, but I have lived for nothing.'"
~ Harold J. Sala, Heroes: People Who Made a Difference in Our World
"He lived and died for something, but I have lived for nothing." That line halted me from reading any further. I could not help but think of my life, even today, and ask myself, "What am I living for? Do I live for self? Or do I live for Christ?"
At the moment life has been going a a breakneck pace. It seems like I have spent every day this week catching up on that which should have been done the day before, only the day before held not the hours with which to do the tasks in. And not for lacking of trying, because I assure you that I did indeed try. No, things have been rushing along at such a pace because, like everyone, there are some weeks or months in each year in which more happens then it seems ought to be possible or right. But then, after a time things will settle back into their slower trot and I will go back to evenings where nearly every task will be check off my to-do list for that day with a satisfied if weary sigh. Yet, especially because I have been going "like crazy" for these last few weeks, I had to pause when I read that line. What am I living for? Is all this rushing to and fro for the only purpose that is worth living and dying for? For my Lord?
David Livingstone's own words state ever so clearly what I pray I will always say.
"I will place no value on anything I have or possess, except in its relationship to the kingdom of God."
In all the busy in and outs and back and forths of life, it's good to take a moment to think about why I am doing what I am doing and to see what I am living for, because, I want to always be living for Christ above all. I never want to become so distracted by just being busy that I miss that most important point.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just Do It

I love Mrs. Beavers' thoughts on John 2:5 about doing what He asks, no questions asked. Please take a moment to hop over and read her post on Unto Him We Live.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Do You Believe?

November 30, 2012

"Is anything to hard for the Lord?" ~ Genesis 18:14
Maybe your first reaction to reading that is, "No way! God can do anything!" I do hope that you know that He can do anything, but more than know that, I hope you believe it. What do I mean by that?
We often say that we believe God can do anything, but when it comes to obeying God blindly do we always trust Him explicitly? In that moment when doubt creeps we let it live, or do we crush it because we trust even when we cannot see? Search your heart, is there anything that you are not trusting the Lord in? Are there any areas where you have let doubt creep in that He is actually who He says He is and that He can actually do anything and everything because He is that big and powerful?
Can you say from the depths of your heart that you believe without a shred of doubt that there is nothing that is too hard for the Lord?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Years Resolutions?

Perhaps it was just the thoughts of the holidays sneaking up on me, or perhaps it was adding every ones birthdays in my 2013 calender and seeing how quickly the years are passing me by, or perhaps it is something else entirely, but whatever the reason, my thoughts last month were turned to the past and the future. What did I do this last year that I would like to do better in the this year? There are two things at the top or my list, and they have been there probably as long as I have been making lists. They are, "Love God more" and "Love people more."
Now, loving more can mean a whole variety of things, and to list them all would take longer than I have. So, I will just give you the abbreviated definitions. To love God more is to make it my top priority that His name be hallowed in everyday life and in every circumstance. To love people more is love others as Christ loves. Selflessly, forgiving all wrongs, putting their needs above my own wants.
I have never been much for New Years resolutions, so this year I am not making any. What about my goals to love more, you ask? Well, those are not New Years resolutions. Those are New Life resolutions. Everyone who has New Life, should have these types of resolutions. Resolutions to be more like our Lord.

What are your New Life resolutions?