Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Image that Teaches Lies

“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak." Habbakuk 2:18

an image that teaches lies

One such image sprang to the forefront of my thoughts, society's definition of what it means to be beautiful. It's an image that has spread like wildfire throughtout most of the world.
Plastered on just about every billboard and seen constantly on tv is what this world considers a beautiful person.
The message being recieved by millions is that if you don't look like this then you are not beautiful
What a load of crap.

I have personally struggled with my self image for YEARS. I have the highly sought after hourglass figure but it was the bigger version and not a smaller one. I have the beautiful curly hair but it's curls are crazy and unpredictable not soft and perfect. I have a cute face but it's only cute when I smile.

Why did I, and sometimes still do, believe this? I believed those lies that the devil surrounds me with. I would see the photos and shows and ads and tune my ear to that whispering of "you're not good enough"

They're wrong and WAY off base. I AM beautiful and so are you. It's not our physical attributes that define our beauty but who we are on the inside. And what is inside radiates out causing breathtaking beauty. We are like stained glass windows, our true beauty is not ignited until we radiate from the inside out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

We were considered sheep to be slaughtered

Ever have those moments when passages in the bible suddenly make sense and you sit there dumbfounded and mouth gaping.....
welcome to right now.

I'm doing a study on Paul and his heart for Jesus by Kay Arthur (high recommend her)

I read this verse "Just as it is written, 'For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered" Romans 8:36

and then I kept reading...not truly knowing the gravity of the first verse

ok...yeah...being put to death all day, More of Christ, less of me. Carry my cross, put my sinful nature to death

"We were considered sheep to be slaughtered"

Have you every HEARD a sheep being slaughtered?


You won't. They don't make a sound. You hear a pig being slaughtered a mile away, but you will not hear a sound from a sheep.
And that is how we should be. Trials come, life downpours on us and we are tempted at every turn, but that is why Jesus tells us to place our burdens upon him.

The world will see us go through this life and it's troubles and wonder why we're different. Our trials are no better than theirs, we aren't superhuman, so WHY are we reacting so weirdly? The world should look at us and see that which is not in the world.

Everything is for God's sake and once that is put into a reality in our lives we can gladly bear it because of the love we have for him and the even greater love he has for us.
Do I do this? Not even a little. The phones go crazy at work and I'm the first one huffing and puffing. But that needs to stop.

I pray that day by day, myself and you who are reading this, sees life from a eternal perspective, to see that everything good and bad is for the glory of Christ. And when asked what sets you apart that you have the courage to say
 "My Savior"

further proof that you can read the bible a million times and get something different and life altering each time

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Being a True Christian

“A nominal Christian is content with proving the way of salvation by a crucified Redeemer. But the true Christian loves it, delights in it, glories in it, and shudders at the very thought of glorying in anything else.… Let all your joys flow from the contemplation of his cross.”

— Charles Simeon, quoted by John Piper in
The Roots of Endurance

I strive to be a true Christian. To love God as I should and delight in him every day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making Magic

Find the drops from your wrung-out day. Launch a relentless pursuit of the art.

Write for 30 minutes. It is not a waste of time.

Take a walk with your camera and see what you can find.

Dare to believe you have something to say but remember it’s because He said it first.

Sit in the quiet just because. A lot more may happen there than you might think.

Savor the moments to talk through the dreams, to sift through the disappointment, to pray for the miracle.

Do the work you love when the early morning lifts up her head with a smile and a high-pitched song.

Sit at the table and make your art when the evening sky fills up the yard right outside your window.

Don’t do it because you have to. Do it because you can.

Then? Open wide your eyes and see what happens. It may be the littlest things that change a life, and the magic is in the details.
Chatting at the Sky by Emily Freeman




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Perfectly Placed

Tonight has just been another one of those nights when I am again reminded of what I don't have.
It's not fun, just so you know. Not even a little. And when I get in this mindset it's hard to focus on what I DO have (mainly because if I had someone special in my life to share it with it would be that much better)
the Holy Spirit always reminds me of the Letter to the Exiles, a letter that resonates with me.
You probably know it as "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord...." but I know it as SO much more.
"This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD. This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:4-15

Build houses, raise families, plant crops. You are going to be here for a while, settle in. These people had dreams, exile probably never entered their minds. They had plans in Jerusalem and lives there.
But God had other plans. God WANTED them in exile, the exile into which he carried them. He asks them to pray for and seek peace and prosperity which to me implies a significant lack in such things.
But the bedrock of the truth is TRUST. He wants them to trust Him with their lives. He knows what he's doing, he knows the effect it will have. God has me where he wants me. I'm perfectly placed. I may not do what he wants all the time (or most of the time) but he still uses me in ways I don't even see. My station in life (and love life) is what God wants.
AND...I'm done trying to find this "Mr. Right" We are not playing some big game of hide and seek. He has not entered my life yet and I'm thankful because although I may be in denial about it (and maybe him as well) I'm not ready or he's not ready. He's out there, i know this BUT I don't want him until he's ready for me. I don't want him until I'm perfect for him.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sprirtual Epiphanies Don't Mind the Time

Eowyn daughter of King Theoden.

Sometimes I think of God at the oddest times. Showers and driving are the most frequent. Today it happened while going down to my office. I had just showered and felt so clean and loved starting my day fresh ( LITERALLY!)
Then the idea of a fresh start with God came to mind. I should feel this freshness with God every day. A new day, another gift from God. Another day to experience His love and majesty.
Like washing away the dirt of the day before I should wash me of myself and bathe in the Spirit. Each day to be lived for God, not myself.
As Paul says we should die to ourselves DAILY. Get up in the morning and rid ourselves of our sinful nature and put on the armor of God to battle this crazy situation called life.
Two forces are at war around and within us, we just have to be aware and KNOW who we're dealing with and who's side we're on.
We are not only sons and daughters of God but we are WARRIORS.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Naked and full of shame

Adam and Eve faced temptation about a tree in a bright, sunny garden, a paradise with no pressure. But Christ faced temptation about a tree in a dark garden, a garden given the name that meant ‘oil press,’ and certainly he felt squeezed like an olive in a press on that dark night, to the point that his sweat was like drops of blood.

If Adam and Eve obeyed God about the tree, they would live. If Jesus obeyed God about the tree, he would die.Jesus obeyed. And through his obedience he gained for us far more than Adam lost for us through his disobedience.
Adam lost for us the beautiful ‘naked and not ashamed’ of the garden. But at the cross, Christ hung naked and full of shame. It wasn’t his own shame. It was your shame and my shame. He ‘endured the cross, despising the shame’ (Heb. 12:2) so that ‘everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame’ (Rom. 10:11).”
— Nancy Guthrie

The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Tree

I was walking to church one evening during a light spring shower. Soon I noticed that the raindrops had lessened considerably. I had walked into the shade of a tree. As I was walking God reminded me of a simple fact. He is protecting me from the rains of life. Yes a few drops here and there may fall through the leaves but I am safe from the true downpour of the rain because I choose to stand in his shadow.

I can always choose to leave but I know that when the downpour of life comes I’ll have no one to stand in front of it. Time and time again I return to the tree of Life. The One who carries my burdens as if they were His own. The One who knows my deceitful heart better than I do. The One who can change me but more importantly the One who died because of the love He has for me.

Such a simple reminder during a spring rainfall.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The blood is for God to see

“The Israelites at the time of the exodus knew they had escaped the night of God’s judgement through trusting in the blood of the Passover lambs on their doorposts.

Notice that the blood was to be placed on the outside of their houses. The blood was for God to see, not for their benefit. The blood was not to make them feel good or feel safe. The blood was not for their feelings at all. The blood was to satisfy God. It was for his eyes alone. God said, ‘When I see the blood I will pass over you’ (Exodus 12:13).
We have peace, not because we feel good, but because God is satisfied with the blood. Only he can evaluate the worth of the lamb. Because he is satisfied, we have peace.”

— Terry Virgo

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Post where I use the word Cornucopia

Sometimes I just get the urge to write. About what, I have no clue. It comes about when I read. As my eyes pour over the words weaved by another, I have the urge to do the same. I’ve never been the creative type. To create something from nothing is quite difficult for me. I’m the appreciator. I know what to look for in good books, good music or good photography. While I possess none of the talent it takes to produce such things, my eyes can search out the key ingredients to make such wonderful art.

I would love to be a photographer. To capture, on film, a moment in time that will never come again. To arrange a cornucopia (I love that word) of meaningless things and create a beautiful collage. I have my moments. The right angle, the right mood, the right model (mostly Whitney) all culminate into an amazing photo. Consistent awesomeness is not in my repertoire, as least not where photography is concerned.

Even though I wish I had the talent to write or take amazing pictures, I don’t. It’s taken me a while to accept that. It’s taken longer to appreciate the gifts God has given me.

I’ve grown to like the person God has made me and, sure, I’m not a music prodigy, picture taker extraordinaire, or in line for the next Pulitzer Prize, but I am who I am for a reason.

Nothing in my life is without a purpose.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

God Breathed

I know I need a spiritual overhaul from above when reading the ancient works of men inspired by God doesn't cut it.

I selfishly hope that my faith is never the last thing I have to hold on to....

i don't think it could hold me.

Thank goodness God can.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Spirit's Mission

“The Holy Spirit glorifies Father and Son together. He is procured for the world by the blood of the Son, and sent into the world by the authority of the Father, so that both are alike represented in His mission, and equally glorified in His office.

The gracious things which the Father gave into the hands of the Son when He descended from heaven, the Son gave into the hands of the Spirit when He returned to heaven ‘All things that the Father hath are mine, and He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.’ This is the object of the Spirit’s advent: the communication of the things of Christ to men.
What are the things of Christ? His merit, His mercy, His image, His Gospel, His promises, all the gifts of His grace, all the treasures of His love, and all the immunities of eternal redemption. These the Father hath given to the Son, as the great Trustee of the Church, and the Son hath given them to the Spirit, as the appointed Agent of their communication.”
— Christmas Evans

“The Father and Son Glorified"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finding God in the Everyday

Everyday at work this pencil cup reminds me of who it is that I serve.
The Lord your God is with you, a mighty warrior that saves.
He will take great delight in you.
In His love He will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!!!

Hope you guys had a wonderful Easter filled with too much food, too much family, and too much thankfulness.

My brother, Noah..and is epically tied tie!

My Easter was fantastic.
Learned how to tie a tie
Told repeatedly how small I am
Had my self esteem lifted in the fact that my sister and I wear the same size (she's 12)
Went to a church service with the people from my past
Remembered how AMAZING my Daddy's green beans are.
Ate so much dirt cake I shouldn't be alive
Watched my baby (he's 10..but will ALWAYS be my baby) ride through a massive puddle and succeed in covering himself in mud
Again reminded of how small I am
Talked to my uncle who is in Pennslyvania and isn't spending Easter with us for the first time in my life.
Went to church again with my amazing cousin/roommate
Ran into my friend, Maegan, who's very presence fills me with joy.
Worshipped and rejoiced with fellow brothers and sisters in our victory in Christ
Watched Jack and ate MORE dirt cake (seriously should not be living right now)

Epic Easter. ^_^

Overwheming Victory in Christ

Romans 8:36 (Even the Scriptures say "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep")

Paul is referencing Psalm 44:22 (v22-26)
The first century was a trying time for Christians, wait...scratch that. The first century was KILLER, both literally and figuratively. God's word spread like wildfire (once Paul put the proverbial light under Peter's butt) and King Nero wasn't too happy (also VERY evil). It was a holocaust of Christians.
I wish I could say things are different. And here, they are. And we are very lucky. But else where, in China, in the Middle East, our brothers and sisters are not so lucky. They meet in secret, daring to worship God in the midst of a Godless country. Pray for them. And thank God that though you may face persecution and ridicule you can worship Him freely without restraint.

Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

I love Paul's choice of words. We not only have victory, but overwhelming victory. Through Christ we have victory over death! The "end all, be all" is now just the beginning. A song played a church yesterday describing heaven as an "eternal day with God." I couldn't help but smile (quite largely) at that fact. It reminds me of all those moments when I thought "I hope this never ends." It always does, obviously. But I look forward to a day when I think that....and it's true. To sit and talk and just BE with God wishing it would never end....and it never does. My heart is soothed just thinking about it

Romans 8:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can't and life can't. The angels can't and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away

God loves messed up people. We're entirely more messed up than we think we are. Paul is showing up both sides of the spectrum here, opposites. Nothing on one end, nothing on the other...and nothing in between can separate us from the love of God. Fears, inadequacies, slip ups, chronic sins (i.e. porn addiction, alcoholism, etc.), sins of your fathers (i.e. temper, bad habits), neurotic tendencies, road rage, NOTHING can separate you from God's love. Forget it...not going to happen. You think you are undeserving of God's love. You're right!! Does he love you anyway? YES!!! So many times I catch myself feeling deserving of God's love. I LOATHE it. Self-righteousness is one evil flaw that always sneaks up on me. Lately God has made me aware of the depth of my sin, and I'm SO helps me appreciate just what Christ did for me.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Rest in that.

Romans 8:39 Whether high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter where we go or what we do, if we are in Christ there is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God. He is showing us the expansiveness of our security as a result of what Jesus has done!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glory and Love in the Storm

Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for He is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us

When I first read this verse, my thought was "Wow...this verse really makes it seem all about me" He died for me, was raised to life for me and is sitting next to God, pleading for me. But then I asked WHY?

Why did Christ die for me? To give God ultimate glory.

Why was Christ raised to life for me? To give God ultimate glory.

Why is He sitting next to God pleading for me (Romans 8:26)? To give God ultimate glory.

God is the one who all of this is for. Him and Him alone. When I start turning the gospel onto myself, self righteousness sets in. I somehow think that I am worthy of being saved. That is so far from the truth. God's glory and mercy is revealed BECAUSE he saved me when I wasn't worthy.
"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8) That verse struck a cord with me. I'm not righteous, I'm not even GOOD. But while I was still filthy with my own sin God sent his son to die for me.
Since God did that I'm no longer under condemnation for my sins. According to God they are wiped clean. Do they still exist? Yes. I'm not going around pretending I'm sinless. But I have confidence that my sins are forgiven, past, present and future. This doesn't give me a free ride to go and sin more and not care about consequences. My love of God spurs my desire to obey his laws. Even this should not be. I'm still working on my feelings dictating whether or not I will obey God. I want to obey him EVEN when I feel he's not there.

Romans 8:35 Can anything ever seperate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?

Welcome, dear friends, to a snapshot of the Christian life. It's not easy. Thankfully God loves us through ALL circumstances. My thought is that when Paul wrote this to the Roman church, he had a story for every situation mentioned above. He went through it all for the Gospel.
Nothing this life throws at us can make God love us any less. Thank. You. GOD.
This also brings to the surface our (and when I say our I mean mine) habit of comparing ourselves to others. Seeing the blessings poured out upon close friends and aquaintances and wonder what we did for God not to bless us with that. Just because God loves you and that you've been adopted into His family doesn't mean you will be rich and healthy the rest of your days. If anything you are MORE susceptible to the storms of this life. Satan and his compatriots will try even harder to tear you away from the Father. That is why God gives us His armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) to battle everyday life.
Jesus doesn't promise the absence of sin, suffering and persecution but rather he promises us his love and presence to overcome these things.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Ultimate Gift.

Romans 8:32 Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?

God gave us the ultimate gift. Himself. What greater gift can there be? God went all out for us...not even sparing His own son, how can we begin to think that God doesn't love us or think of us? What makes us think that we won't be taken care of? We are called to trust him. Right now I feel as though I'm sinking beneath debt. Get one card paid off then something happens and twice the amount gets put on. I've been paying for debt for almost two years and I feel as though I've barely made a dent. Some weeks I barely have enough money. And honestly I worry. I constantly worry about my financial state. Constantly doing sums, averaging payments or budgeting what little leftover money I have. I need to begin to trust God in this. Sometimes I'll compartmentalize my life and not even be aware of it. I'll give God the affairs of my heart, but not my financial situation. He'll take care of IT ALL. He wants that from me. He wants to take care of it and for me to let him. I'm grateful the Spirit reminded me of this fact. (seriously..just NOW realized it ^_^)

Romans 8:33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with Himself.

God is the God of justice. Thanks to Jesus we have been given right standing. God will not accuse us. The perfect Son has taken our place. We will be ushered into heaven with Jesus saying "It's ok Dad, she's with me"
He has given us right standing. HE DID. There is no verb by us. We have done nothing to deserve this. You can go your whole life doing and doing and doing for God and it won't even cover a speck of your sinfulness. God's grace is sufficient. And I am SO thankful it is.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Distractions Lead to Epiphanies about One's Own Actions

Yeah...I'm slacking....I have no excuse, just lazy (-.-)

Romans 8:31 What can we say about such wonderful things as these. If God is for us, who can ever be against us.

That is one thing I need to remember. If God is for me, then who can EVER be against me. Nothing can seperate me from the love of the Father. NOTHING. Nothing I say or do will ever make God love me less. It's a blessing that He loves me at all. He doesn't have to. But He DOES!
I love how Paul is at loss for words in the beginning of the verse. What can we say? What words on this earth can describe these wonderful things?

I wrote the above a couple of days ago. Then I became distracted. My heart became heavier than it has in a long time. My co-worker's mother had a heart attack and left urgently, my other co-worker is having a hard time, another is dealing with a psycho ex husband and two children caught in the middle and another is dealing with a psycho husband and a daughter who doesn't deserve the treatment she gets at school.
Having I been praying for these people that I am with 40 hrs a week? When I think about it. Even thinking back my heart is heavy. I spend more time with these 7 people than I do with ANYONE ELSE, yet it takes effort to pray for them. I hated myself in that moment, I hated my selfishness. They all know I'm a Christian, yet do my actions prove my words to be true? The hardest place for me to act as God would want is at work. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking people are idiots, getting annoyed with fellow co-workers who don't think like I do, talking bad about other departments. It's so easy to get caught up in that, but I'm called to do what is RIGHT not easy.
So my goal is to pull myself out of my selfish little world and actually care about the people around me. Patience and a smile can go a long way. "Just as water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart"
I pray that God works in my heart and in turn works in my life.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adopted into Sonship

What a fitting quote for my current memorization project =)

God redeemed us in his Son so that he might love us and delight in us even as he loves and delights in his eternal Son. Adoption is God’s act of making room within his triune love for prodigals who are without hope, and providing them with homes in this world and the world to come.”

— Dan Cruver

Reclaiming Adoption

Someday He'll Call Her And She Will Come Running

Romans 8:30 And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And He gave them right standing with Himself and He promised them His glory.

I can FEEL the love in this verse. The mercy shown by this verse is amazing. We have been chosen to come, be redeemed, and share in the glory of God. Let that sink in, think about it. I don't know about you but I'm feeling pretty unworthy right now. The verse brings to mind a line from the Jars of Clay song "Love Song for a Savior"

In open fields of wild flowers,
she breathes the air and flies away
She thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
Someday she'll understand the meaning of it all
He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she'll pray,
"I want to fall in love with You"

Such a beautiful picture they paint with those words.
This verse is also all in past tense. We have been chosen and called, given right standing and promised glory. Jesus conquered death. His work on the cross made all of this possible, made our future possible. Wait, I take that back. He GAVE us a future! With him no less. Best. Future. EVER.

(the future in Back to the Future 2 comes in a close second though)
I sincerely hope they're working on making the hoverboard a reality.

Friday, April 8, 2011

He knows me and loves me anyway

Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance and he chose them to become like his son, so that his son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters

To be honest, this verse did not sit well with me earlier today. Trying to grasp that God would choose who his people are and who aren't, that did not bode well.
But that's not what this is saying, that is what I inferred from it. Of course I see what I want to see in scripture and sometimes that isn't always the truth.
God knows. He does not exist in the realm of time. If time were a line on a sheet of paper, He would be the paper. He exists everywhere on the line at once.
God knew us before we were formed. He watched us in the womb. He knows us. He knows who we were in the past, who we are now, and who we will be. In that sense he knows us better than we know ourselves.
As the verse prior says He has worked everything out for our good and for His ultimate glory, which we will share in when we claim our inheritance.
Jesus (if you notice) was the first to have a intimate relationship with God. He was allowed in the presence of God because He was without sin. He is the firstborn of a long line of brothers and sisters washed by his blood and made right with the Father. We can have an intimate relationship (and take it for granted) because of the sacrifice of the firstborn son. When I think of the relationship between God and Jesus I liken it to Abraham and Isaac. Abraham loved Isaac more than anything, but because God told him to he was willing to sacrifice his son. God did what Abraham could not. No one came and told God that he was off the hook, there was no goat in the bushes. God sent his son for the purpose of saving his creation and conquering sin.
I'm far, far, far from worthy to be a sister of Jesus. My gratitude is unspeakable.
Praise God for saving me. He didn't have to. He would be glorious and good either way but he did. Praise His Holy Name!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hope for the Best

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them

Only those who hope in the freedom and glory we’ve been promised (v24-25) can look at the world we live in and know that God is working for our good. We don’t live in a good world but we, as children of God, trust Him to work everything out. He has a plan of ultimate good and ultimate glory unto Himself. No matter what we go through, how much we hurt or suffer, we have the promise that everything will be good. We don't see the whole picture, but God does. We only see through a black and white narrow lens. We are so narrow minded. God sees the end result.
We've won! Christians are on the winning side. Nothing we do or don't do can change that. NOTHING can frustrate the will of God, which is GOOD.
(and believe me...if there was a way to screw it up I probably would have already)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whispered Prayers

I have caught up!!! It only took a month =)

Now I can take each verse a day at a time and meditate on them MORE! Yesssss.

Romans 8:26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, now how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Ever had those times in your life when your situation has you at a loss for words, when the storms rages so bad you can't hear yourself think. I know I have, plenty. What a comfort to know that we the words escape us we have the Holy Spirit praying FOR us. Words can't even contain the prayers the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf. And notice that it doesn't say WHEN we don't have the words. We DON'T know what to pray for or HOW to pray. God hears our prayers, of this I am sure, but the prayers whispered by the Spirit are POWERFUL. This Spirit raised Christ from the dead, can  you imagine his prayers! If we share in Christ's treasures then we share in his suffering. During that suffering the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.  It's like a glorious puzzle within a few verses!!! God knows that life on earth will bring pain and suffering because of the sin in the world. God provided a liasion after Christ who will never leave us and prays on our behalf. Sometimes I wonder why worry ever enters my mind, it's obvious I am loved and well taken care of, worry should NEVER enter the equation.

Romans 8:27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will.

Plead - To appeal earnestly; beg: plead for more time: to offer reasons for or against something; argue earnestly: plead against a bill; to provide an argument or appeal
WOW. Not only is the Spirit praying, but he's pleading in earnest, arguing for us in accordance with God's will (which is good, pleasing, and perfect). Could God make this ANY better? Not likely.

Waiting Anxiously, Patiently, and Confidently

My thoughts on yesterday's verse consumed my day. Such wonderful verse to take in and meditate on. With each day comes a renewed hope in God, His plan of coming glory, and my freedom from sin. With each day there is a smile on my face because of Him.

Romans 8:23 And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as children, including the new bodies He has promised us.

The concept of creation in the pains of childbirth I have known for a long time now. Never, never never, have I thought of the Christian life in the same way. But it makes sense, we groan as creation groans, we wait as creation waits. On that day we will have our full rights as children, heirs to the throne. Crowns will adorn our head and we will place them at the feet of god because we are not worthy of such a crown. We will have new bodies, free of pain, sickness, acne, bad breath (and our teeth will ALWAYS be white!!) We will be made perfect in the light of Christ. How can you NOT look forward to that =)

Romans 8:24 Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom, for if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it.

Freedom from sin, what a day that will be. We can love, follow, and obey God without any internal battle at all. No lying, cheating, pride, jealously. God tells us that there will be no hurt in heaven, freedom from sin is why that is true. We hurt ourselves and others because of our sin. But we are not free from sin now. Becoming a Christian isn’t a magical way of becoming free from sin, we are free from the condemnation. Christians aren’t perfect, far, far from it, but we need to hope for the day when we will be. We put our hope in Christ Jesus, for without Him we would not have this coming freedom! Praise Him!

Romans 8:25 But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.

This verse spoke deep into my heart of hearts, but on a different issue. God put in my heart years ago the desire to be a wife and mother. I prayed for years for direction in my life. College and I weren’t getting along, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It was then that this desire was laid on me. Sure I’ll probably have a job and maybe get some kind of degree. But my first and foremost desire is to be a wife who loves her husband like the church and to raise a new generation up in Christ. For this I must wait patiently and confidently.

BUT on to the meaning of the verse described in it’s context. We don’t have that freedom from sin yet. We hope and look forward to that day. We must wait patiently and confidently. We will suffer, we will endure pain and hardship, we will get hurt and in all of that we must look forward and wait. In the first century, under Nero, Christians died right and left. Crosses, eaten by lions, stoned yet they look forward to the coming glory with confidence. Christians all over the world meet in secret for fear of what their government or fellow citizen may do. They do so because they look forward to the coming freedom with patience and confidence. They have the Holy Spirit to remind them of coming glory, the same Spirit that lives in you and I. What an amazing God we serve!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't you know I'm Heavenbound

Let me just say  that yesterday was AMAZING. I couldn't stop smiling, all because of God. Studying about how he loves me so much He adopted me and anticipating for the coming glory that is infinitely better than anything my mind can grasp, that's enough to put anyone in a good mood.
As I was driving home from church I turned on Dc Talk, a band near and dear to my heart. Their old songs Heavenbound and Free at Last were sung from my lips with new vigor and their words touching me deep in my soul. Yeah, they are fun songs but their words are no less impacting.'s ridiculously early 90s. but so wonderful


and so is this one so you've been warned
but the video is AWFUL

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Waiting for Eden

Romans 8:20 Against it's will everything on earth was subjected to God's curse.

Not only did God curse man, woman, and the snake (still grateful He didn't take our legs from us) but the world was cursed along with us. Our sin affects others, not just ourself. While reading this I bet your mind went to a time when you were affected by someone else's sin. It happens, and we do it to others as well (of this I am ALL to guilty). The earth was not made to be this way, WE were not made to be this way. But we wait. Waiting for the promise of being made new, of salvation, of being with God for all eternity. Creation waits along with us. Today when I go outside (i'm stuck at work..boooo) I'm going to take in creation with new eyes. With eyes of fellow creations in a waiting room. I'll tell myself that this yappy dog whom I'm dogsitting and doesn't know the meaning of "quiet" is simply waiting for Christ. The trees, squirrels, birds and all creatures are cursed and waiting, just like me, for God's promise of freedom.
That being said.....

Romans 8:21 All creation anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

Can I get a Halleujah! Honestly, this verse made my heart do little flips. What a promise! I'm still in awe.
Like us, creation experiences death. Flowers lose their brillance, trees lose their leaves, and animals are either subjected to the food chain or get old and pass away. But they are anticipating the day when that will be no more. The day when the symphony of creation will sound like beautiful music once again.

Romans 8:22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.'re probably expecting something like "with all of these earthquakes and natural diasters it's coming soon" I don't know. No one does. I wait eagerly for that day, but when it is I have no clue. To be honest there is some stuff I want to do on earth before BUT that is my own immaturity shining through. I pray that God shows me that His glory is infinitely better than getting married or raising children and a family. Those are my earthly desires, but His glory will be so much better. I sincerely hope he'll change my heart in that. This world is not my home, but I'm treating it as if it were. I need to be ready to go at a moment's notice, but right now I have TONS of proverbial packing to do.

Time to meditate a little more while I close up shop (literally) These past couple of days have been challenging but God shines through, I wish I went to him more often when my life seems to fall apart. I'm getting better though. My life will NEVER fall apart while He is in it. "All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship"

And all this talk of coming glory reminds me the song "Eden" by Phil Wickham (if you've read anything else or know me you know my complete and utter respect and love of Phil Wickham ^_^)

and for the acoustic lovers (like myself)

ok...REALLY have to go now ^_^

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Romans 8:17 And since we are children, we share his treasures -- for everything God gives to his son, Christ, is ours too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.

Suffering is different for everyone. There are thousands around the world being persecuted for being a child of God. Here in America, we are lucky to have the freedom of religion. Yes we may be mocked or scorned, but we are to share in the suffering of Christ. Shutting up when the co-worker that annoys you the most spills their life's sorrows: suffering. Being in a hurry and driving behind a person who thinks the speed limit on the highway is 30 and NOT cursing them from here to eternity: suffering. Trying to remember who you represent when a co worker tears you a new one for something you didn't do: suffering.
We can't have treasure without suffering. But the best part is....all of the suffering, completely worth it (more than actually)

Romans 8:18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later.
I love the way this is worded. It is NOTHING compared to the glory that is waiting. How much we suffer, how often, or how terrible it will become is nothing compared to what God has made for us. To be honest the afterlife scares me, not that it's a scary place but it's just the fear of the unknown that introduces fear in my heart. But then I remember WHY it's's too amazing for my human mind to grasp. Life isn't fair, I will get hurt, sins of others and my own sin will stomp like crazy on my life....but it's nothing compared to what God has for me.

Romans 8:19 For all creation is wating eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are.
A lot of people forget that when man committed the first sin, not only did we fall but creation fell as well. The first time an animal was killed was for Adam and Eve to clothe themselves after they sinned. There was no death, no killing, no predators, no food chain. There was peace, love, and joy. But after the fall a different plan went into effect. There HAD to be a food chain so God could take care of his creation. The animals, birds, organisms, atoms, EVERYTHING shouts of His glory. But they, like us, are waiting for His return. Waiting to be new, waiting to live in Eden once again.

Friday, April 1, 2011

From Slave to Heir

ok WOW this is long...

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

This is another truth that I don’t begin to deserve. I am called a child of God. God looks at me and says “My daughter…” What an honor! A good relationship between a father and his child is unparalleled. How much more so would it be with our heavenly Father! The following quote enlightens on being called a son and daughter of God.
“Who are the sons and daughters of God? They are all those who are led by the Spirit of God, all those who “walk” according to the Spirit. The call is always the same. We are to abide in Christ, as the branches abide in the vine. There is to be fruit in the Christian life. If there is no fruit, if there is no evidence that we are abiding in the vine, then perhaps there is no reality to our profession of faith. It is fine to say, with the apostle John, that to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12). That’s a great truth. On the day when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, wonder of wonders, we became the children of God. But if we truly became the children of god, we were at that moment indwelt by the Holy Spirit; and if we were indwelt by the Holy Spirit, surely there will be some evidence of this in our lives. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:25). It is a call for a conscious effort on our part: we should be “led by the Spirit” (Rom 8:14); we should not “quench” the Spirit. Paul has shown us the wonder of the Spirit’s work in helping us keep the law; and yet he is also showing clearly that there must be a conscious involvement on our part: Walk after the Spirit, be led by the Spirit. – Francis Schaeffer

Romans 8:15 So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children adopted into his family calling him “Father, dear Father”

We are programmed to be slaves to sin, whether we know it or not. We are born into the sinful nature. Yes, there is innocence but even children steal and lie (even though they don’t know that what they are doing is wrong). With Christ our slavery bonds are no more and we are free, but we are so used to acting like slaves. Imagine being a slave of a prominent, loving master; a master known far and wide for how much he gives his slaves and how well he takes care of them. This master, YOUR master, comes to you saying “I love you so much that I want to adopt you into my family, sharing the same inheritance as my children” You would be dumbstruck. This man wants you to be in his family. You are not fit to even be in his house, but he wants to be your father. Though you are no longer a slave but now an heir, the life you led as a slave does not go away easily. Here we are told not to be like the slaves we once were, but like the children of God that we ARE .
“God is no longer to us a distant God. He is not merely a God in whom we believe intellectually, theologically, theoretically, and doctrinally only. All this is possible to one who is not a child of God at all. Our worship and praying is spontaneous; it is the spontaneity of the child who sees the Father, and not only spontaneity, but confidence: -- Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Romans 8:16 For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.

What a comfort that is! Deep in our hearts, past all the sin and baggage, there is God reminding us that we are His. What’s broken, He shall fix. What hurts, He shall heal. What seems irreparable, He shall repair. Whatever it is about ourselves and our life that we just can’t seem to get through, we need to give it to God. He knows our heart because He lives there. We need to give him the reins and be led by the Spirit.
We are children of God! Against the forces of Satan, against sin and earthly pleasures, that is our battle cry! Get behind me Satan, for I am a child of God!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spirit of the Living God

Romans 8:11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by the same Spirit living within you

That first line, read it, take it in. Pause and think about having the SAME Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living in you. He doesn’t visit on the holidays, or occasionally chit chat, no he LIVES in me. No matter where I go, what I do, who I see that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is with me. The Spirit that parted the Red Sea, crushed the walls of Jericho and fed 5000 people lives in me. It’s humbling and I am the last person to deserve it. As the Easter story unfolds and as I celebrate God conquering death I pray that I remember that the same Spirit that accomplished all of this lives within me and I pray that day after day He leads me.

Romans 8:12 So dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what the sinful nature urges you to do.
I have four words for you. Easier. Said. Than. Done. But Paul knew. Paul speaks from experience. Sometimes the urge to sin is SO overwhelming. To just give in, just once, is so much easier than a constant battle. We think about the here and now, the temporary taste of satisfaction. We have those limitations but we don’t have to give in. Sure, it feels like we do. It seems that we’ll get no rest until the sinful nature is appeased, but that’s not God. God destroyed sin’s hold over us. We have a choice. We won’t win every battle…but we’ve already won the war.

Romans 8:13 For if you keep on following it you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.
By the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it. Not yourself. When “you” is mentioned alone, so is the word “perish,” that’s what will happen. When we live life according to ourselves and our rules, we die. End of story.
But for Christians it’s not the end. We have the Holy Spirit to get us through temptation. Just as Jesus wasn’t alone when he was tempted neither are we. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we turn away from sin. Does this mean we are failures if we sin? YES. But thankfully God doesn’t look at us, He sees His Son, the sacrifice, and welcomes Him and His friends in as if they were His own.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sinful nature vs Holy Spirit

Romans 8:8 – That is why those who are under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

Verse 7 states that the sinful nature could never, never ever, obey God. If we are under the control of the sinful nature there is no way we could EVER please God. For me, my love of God drives my obedience. When I sin I usually feel guilty not because it happened, but because my love of myself trumped my love of God in that moment. The Holy Spirit resides in me….but so often the control I let it have is minimal. Sin is slavery. Christ has set me free yet most times I revert back to my enslaved condition. It is a vicious, vicious cycle. It makes sense why Paul couldn’t wait to be rid of this world, if I were more aware of just how atrocious my sin is I would be more impatient for heaven as well.

Romans 8:9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Holy Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you (and remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all)

I find this verse hard to grasp but pretty self explanatory. Sometimes I’ve questioned whether or not I have the Spirit in me. I have accepted Christ as my Savior…EVERYONE has been given the Spirit when this occurs. The Spirit does not care about race, popularity, or wealth. If you are truly a Christian then you have the Spirit. Whether we follow the Spirit is another thing, but we have it in us at all times. We are never alone and never without help.

Romans 8:10 Since Christ lives in you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jesus turns the Values of the World Upside Down

“The pattern of the Cross means that the world’s glorification of power, might, and status is exposed and defeated. On the Cross Christ wins through losing, triumphs through defeat, achieves power through weakness and service, comes to wealth via giving all away. Jesus Christ turns the values of the world upside down.”

— Timothy Keller

The Reason for God

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our Default Ways

Day 5 – Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things. But those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit – Romans 8:5

This verse really got me thinking. I thought about what I think about (yeah…SO confusing). What thoughts dominate my mind? What consumes my days? Movies, music, actors, and books, everything it seems…except God. 

Day 6 – If your sinful nature controls your mind there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind there is life and peace – Romans 8:6

It sounds so bad, mind control. But either way something controls your mind. You (aka your sinful nature) or the Holy Spirit (when you deny yourself and follow Christ). And I love that there is no promise of money or happiness or health. There is life and there is peace. We live in a fallen world and we are plagued with sin both from ourselves and from others. The banks account may be low, the smile gone and the health waning…but you have the Holy Spirit and with him comes life and peace.
Following our sinful nature may be money and happiness and health…but those are temporary, they are like waves on a beach, there one minute and gone the next. And worst of all they lead no where. nothing is waiting at the end of life on this earth except death.

Day 7 – The sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will – Romans 8:7

This is the very reason why Jesus tells us that to follow Him we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. The sinful nature is ALWAYS against God. The first man and woman listened to that voice and obeyed it..ever since then we battle with following our sinful ways or following God. It's a choice, free will, choose me or choose Him. And I don't know about you but for me, more often than not, I choose me. Denying myself gets better with discipline, but I'm not perfect and never will be on this earth. We were given the Holy Spirit for this very there was SOMEONE else telling us which way to go, because our default nature is TOTALLY against God. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

He Himself is the Healer

Jesus Christ is so far from hating us, who are His own flesh, that He applies all sorts of remedies with a strong patience for the cure of our infirmities, and He is moved to do it with the greater patience because He knows we shall be restored to perfect health and soundness indeed, and He Himself shall be the healer.

Finally, with an infinite love and joy, and glory to Himself, He will present us to Himself most glorious, without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing.”

— Thomas Goodwin

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Gospel

“A Substitute has appeared in space and time, appointed by God Himself, to bear the weight and the burden of our transgressions, to make expiation for our guilt, and to propitiate the wrath of God on our behalf. This is the gospel.”

— R. C. Sproul

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fitting Together the Ultimate Act of Love

I’m gonna kick out a couple of these today. I just like to write down my thoughts concerning each verse =)

Day 3 – The Law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours is sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Romans 8:3

The ultimate act of love. By ourselves we’re goners, absolutely nothing we can do can help us escape sin’s control over us. It was impossible, but nothing is impossible for God. He devised a different plan to save us, sure it would have been easy to make this species that obeyed and did whatever He wanted mindless…but where’s the glory in that? God devised a plan of ULTIMATE glory. Make these creatures KNOWING they will turn from me and loving them anyway then sending my Son as a sacrifice for their sins so that they can choose to be with me forever. It’s amazing.

Day 4 – He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Romans 8:4

Upon first several readings of this verse my thought was “God is not bound by laws. There are no requirements for God” but then I found it. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us. Before Christ came we had to sacrifice animals. It’s not what He wanted and it’s not how he created us, but after the fall took place innocent blood needed to be shed in order to forgive sins. When Christ came his innocent blood was shed once for ALL. You, me, that guy over there, EVERYONE. Those who want to follow the Spirit instead of the sinful nature now have an option to accept this sacrifice that God sent and honor it with their lives. Again….so amazing. It’s like watching puzzle pieces fit together.