Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's
Monday, September 21, 2009
I've come to the conclusion that it is fairly inaccurate to believe that love is blind. In my years of limited erudition, I've come to understand that love does, indeed, see the multitude of sins...but chooses -with full sight- to cover them.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
and i appreciate all that YOU've done?
have i said that i'd like to give YOU
every peice of me, every last one?
have i let YOU know how much it means
that YOU'd spend YOUR time with me?
or that if YOU had never found me
i have no idea where i would be?
have i made it clear through jest and tears?
have i given enough of myself?
to show YOU that its YOU i want
it's YOU and no one else...
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
People, I've learned, have a very interesting way of defining life according to their own experiences and schema. The only way that we know how to frame our world is through the lenses of experience. The problem arises when we try to define other people. People are so diverse and intricate. Only God can truly know our hearts, so when one man tries to blow the horn of another, he might toot too loudly or too softly, never really getting just the right pitch. On the other hand, a man that toots his own horn won't exactly find the perfect tone, due to certain unavoidable biases. So, who, you might ask do we give the privilege of "the toot?" The Word of God is the only mirror that we can look into to give us a clear image of God, of self, of others and of the world around us.
What does the Word say about me? That I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that I'm royalty, that I'm a redeemed sinner, that I'm the apple of God's eye...so many other things. The beauty of finding ourselves in God's Word is that in the end...every good and beautiful thing that describes us is found in God, which should eradicate all feelings of pride. This also gets rid of feelings that we're not good enough or that we'll fail, because as long as we find rest in God who does not fail, we are standing on unshakable ground.
This is the bottom line: YOU ARE WHO GOD SAYS THAT YOU ARE.
Nothing more...nothing less...
What sweet relief I've found in learning that I don't have to try anymore.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I was reading 2 Timothy 1 today and it was verse 5 that sparked these thoughts, and my active imagination fanned the sparks into flame. Verse 5 (NIV) says:
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Timothy's grandmother and mother left a tremendous legacy behind for him to follow. They made the way a little clearer for Timothy by the way that they lived. Their faith is described by Paul as "sincere faith." Paul also pointed out that this same faith "lived" in these amazing women. Their faith wasn't dead. They must've been working it out, because we all know that faith without works is dead (James 2:20).
What legacy will I leave behind for those who will come after me? What will be said of me when I'm gone? I think that these are questions that we must all ask ourselves. I'm praying that God will develop within me a steadfast and diligent character, so that in the end, I will be found standing tall on His word, with a song of praise in my mouth and my arms lifted high in worship to a God that saw me when I was nothing and told me that I'm special.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Jesus, I know that I need You in my life. I believe that You are Lord and that You came to earth as a man to die for my sins. I believe that after three days in the grave You rose again. Thank You for dying to set me free from sin. Right now, I accept You into my heart and into my life. I give You my heart freely. You are my Lord, and I accept Your free gift of salvation.
Congratulations! You just made the best decision of your life. Jesus didn't promise that walking with Him would be easy, but He promises to never leave you or forsake you. He promises that His burden is light. He promises to give you a life more abundant that you could ever dream of!!
Be sure to tell someone about your new decision! Spread this amazing and exciting news with someone you love!
I believe that we are living in blessed times of great import. God wants to do something very special through and in this generation and I'm excited to see how His plan unfolds. I am convinced that this is a different season and that God is using different people.
For the sake of this post, I'll refer to the generation in which we live as "The Different Generation." I call us this for two reasons. The first reason is that I believe that God is using us just as we are; with all of our unique characteristics and idiosyncratic ways. God isn't asking us to be inconsistent with the way He's already made us. He wants us to come to Him just as we are and as He perfects His good work in us, we become who we were made to be: a good work in the eyes of God, unique, special....different. God has called each of us for a special purpose here on earth to bring glory to Him. No one was meant to take your place, just as you weren't meant to take another person's place. As we seek God daily and we grow and develop into vessels of gold, God perfects that good work which He started in us the day we accepted Him. God didn't create us to be clones of other people. Psalm 139:14 (NIV) says:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
The psalmist here is acknowledging that God made him fearfully and wonderfully. God took His time to make sure that we came out just right. Perfectly. This verse challenges me. I want to seek God more. I want to know Him more and in knowing Him, I want to find out more of what He's called me to be. This makes life so exciting because the possibilities are endless. (Who was it again that said that being a Christian is boring? Ummmm...I beg to differ!)
The second reason that I've dubbed us "The Different Generation" is simple. God has called us to be set apart. We are living in amazing times, but they are also very dark. God has called us to break through in the darkness and be a light so bright that the darkness must flee. John 15:19 (NIV) says:
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
We are called out of this world to go against the grain. To be different. I love the way that this is worded: but I have chosen you out of the world. God has hand picked you and I to be set apart for His glory. What an amazing and humbling privilege!
In Romans 12:2, the Word of God reiterates our call to be separate from the ways of this world.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Be transformed. We have to reset our minds and our hearts to go along with God's ways. We have to mutate from our very nature and become a remodeled version of ourselves. And this can only take place when we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives as our Lord. Then we have to diligently seek Him and follow His ways. When we fall, we must get right back up and follow Him all the more. We have to stay plugged in to His word and we must spend time with Him in worship. This is how we will be rewired to fit God's original plan. With the glorious guidance of our Friend, The Holy Spirit, we can continue to grow until we see Him face to face.
This my prayer: That this "Different Generation" will bring God utmost praise and glory with our unique gifts and personalities. I also pray that each one of us will fall in love with Jesus so much that we will be ruined for those worldly things that are apart from His heart.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
...the way the clouds look from an airplane window
...a rainbow after the storm
...the way that babies grip one of your fingers with all of theirs
...the taste of water with a hint of lemon
...the sound of worship from a heart filled with the love of God
...a good book
...the bond of real friendship
...an exceptionally good movie that you can relate to
There are so many little things that I am grateful for. I've already named a few, but there are so many more. We take so many things in our lives for granted. Let's remember to stop for a minute and look at the world around us. Let's take in the smell of the earth after a hard rain and the sound of children enjoying their innocence. These things can easily be a reason to complain. We hate when it rains but we don't want famine. We yell at children for being too loud but we pray for the gift of childbirth. We must realize that life is all about perspective. There is beauty in absolutely everything, as long as you look for it.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I used to think it was naive of me to believe that love- true love- could fix any problem and heal all wounds. I've learned, however, that this is not a naive idea at all. It is truth. Let me interject with this thought: God, in His Word, repeatedly urges us to love ourselves and to love our neighbors. He says it all the time. He even emphasized this command when He said, "Look...forget all the other laws...its all summed up in loving your neighbor like you love yourself." (Galatians 5:14). Why is it such a big deal that we love each other? Honestly....? Its because in loving other people we are clearing an opening for the Holy Spirit to move upon the heart of man. A lot of times its hard for people to accept and receive God's love, not because they're wicked. Not because they have hard hearts. Its actually because they don't know what love is. They've never been touched by its warmth. So when God comes to move on their hearts, His Spirit doesn't find that little piece of Himself that someone should have left behind. He doesn't find that little piece of Himself to mix with and bring people to trust Him and come to repentance...
Too often we sow hurt and fear, and God has to clean up the messes we've made. But when we sow love, the person we've sown into has a small idea of what love is. When God comes to take their heart and establish a relationship, that person's heart says, "I've felt something like this before...this just may be real..."
Now, back to the idea of love fixing any problem. Is it sexual sin? Or gossip? Or anything that doesn't match up with God's Word? The thing is that the desires to do these things are there because we need something...some kind of unconditional acceptance....some kind of affirmation. Being man, who's heart is desperately wicked, our very nature longs to find fulfillment in the things that are of the flesh. But those things can't fulfill us. Only God can. God is love. Only love can...
Let's love ourselves...I mean really and truly...and let's love one another...it isn't always easy to do either but lets do it...let's fight our flesh and go against the nature of our humanity...let's love and love and love....