Category Archives: Verses

Found What I Was Looking For

“Have you ever wanted to be someone else?
Have you ever wanted just to be someone?
Have you ever wanted to reach your dreams?
Have you ever wanted life to be more than it seems?
I have tasted of a love so wide, that it stops all my time.
I have tasted of a love so deep, that it blows my mind.

Have you ever wanted to reach up and touch the sky?
Have you ever wanted to pack it up and say good-bye?
Have you ever wanted someone to care?
Have you ever wanted someone to be there?
I have tasted of a love so wide, that it stops all my time.
I have tasted of a love so deep, that it blows my mind.

He is sweet…He is sweet. What you’re looking for is my sweet, sweet Jesus.
What you’re looking for is my sweet Lord.”

This whole summer, God has been preparing my heart for…something. I did not know what He was going to tell me, all He revealed at the time was that something in my life was going to change. I could let my mind run away with the millions of different things that could mean…but always, He kept bringing me back. He is going to change whatever He wants. He will bring about His will in my life. All I must do is wait, watch, and then act on what He gives me.

Well, I found what I was looking for. God revealed some of those changes that He wished to accomplish in my life.And most of them have nothing to do with going somewhere new, or drastically changing my lifestyle. No. They are changes He wishes to make within me.

Some of them are kind of hard to look at, yet, I am filled with such an excitement, to know that God is doing things in my life, that I no longer care about the pain that may come along when addressing these issues in my life. In fact, I welcome it; knowing that there are things in my life surrounded by pain, and kept that way, because I would not allow God access to them…until now. And I realize that what I thought would be even worse than that pain (having God near it to see and touch it), is so much better. So much more.

As believers we build our lives around so much…some of it quite good, such as God’s word. That is what we should be striving for. But if we are not careful, we can become hardened…we can become as the Pharisees’, holding to the letter of the law, but having no real love for our God, no relationship with our Christ. If we are not careful, we can be choked out by the cares of this world…by the deceitfulness of sin.

I know that there are many things God wants to change about me…some that He has brought to my attention now, and others that He will deal with at some future date. But one thing He is talking to me about now is joy.
Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.”
I always thought that meant that God had a willing spirit to sustain me…but other versions say “grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me”, “make me willing to obey You“…in other words, in order to be sustained, I must be willing to submit myself to Him, to accept what He brings. I realize that I have allowed myself to steal the joy God had given, the joy of His salvation, all the while expecting Him to do all the work in restoration. I must be willing. That is, I must be willing to do what He says, to search the scriptures, and to once again, choose joy in my life.

I was so convicted of this area of sin in my life during this past trip to Florida. My dearest friends and sisters there are such instruments of God’s joy…I am with them but minutes, and I know that God is there in their midst; there is no doubt that they love Christ, that they are willing to be used by and of Him, and that His Spirit dwells within them. Joy radiates from within them. They are such encouragement to me, and I love and miss them like crazy.

This is a sermon series on Joy by John MacArthur; my dear friend Evelyn passed it on to me after one of our discussions.

I (like many another fellow believer, I am sure) have such longings within my soul…longings that can only be satisfied by Christ. But on this trip, I have tasted of a love so wide…I have tasted of a love so deep…what I am looking for is my sweet Jesus. When you taste of His love, nothing else looks as sweet. When you catch a closer glimpse of His majesty, you never want to go back.

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LOVE One Another…

I am saddened tonight by things that have happened to or amongst people I love….things that happen now, happened in the past, or will happen in the future. How easy it is for us to be caught up in the sins of the world; to be dragged down the road of…not hate exactly, but that which is not love.

“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, so shall you also love one another. By this all will know that you are MY disciples, if you have love towards one another.” John 13:34-35

Our love, our devotion to one another should be without fail, with no hint of question. Actions, sins, words without thought….those should all be questioned, but never our love for one another. As God has loved us…love one another. God has had to put up with SO MUCH MORE from us than ever another does to us, yet somehow, subconsciously, we think that we are entitled to ‘righteous anger’ if someone so much as spits in our direction. I’m not saying this is what anyone I know has done…far from that. But as I watch the world around me, particularly the Christian Church (body of Christ), I see so many actions, words, deeds, and thoughts that are done without love; either as living by the letter of the law, as the Pharisee’s did, or by adapting ourselves to the ways of the world ‘for the sake of our witness’, or even by thoughtlessness stemming from a lack of love.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Romans 12:9-10

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not, does not know God; for God is love.”
I John 4:7-8

“If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
I John 4:20

We are children of GOD, my brothers and sisters! God has entrusted US  to be ‘salt and light’ to the world. If we refuse to have, much less show, love towards one another, then our entire witness is rendered moot. If we do not strive to live by the Life Manual God has given us, how can we go to another and entreat them to live their lives according to what we think ourselves above? By having not love, we do, have, and will continue to, damage our witness of Christs’ abundant love (Ephesians 2:4-6; But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He has loved us, even when we were dead in sins, had made us alive together with Christ, [by grace are you saved] and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.).

‘My brethren, these things ought not to be so…’….How do you, how do I, convey love? Do we try to at all? Is that (our love and/or our attempt to love) obvious to the world around us….or are we just one more serious of people running through life, striving to gain the most we can for ourselves, giving pain to others, but unwilling to receive it ourselves? Do we live a double standard?
This post is as much to myself as to you; yet I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to look again with new eyes at our lives…at our love. And to examine whether God would have us change some things in both.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

You are Beautiful…you really are.

I have often been told I’m a confident person.
For someone so confident, I sure have low self-esteem. How’s that work, anyway?

Tonight my brother and I were driving home after cleaning the church. We usually talk about this and that…but at this time, there was just silence, I guess we both had a lot to think about. And this song came on the radio, following J.J. Heller’s “What Love Really Means” (a song that already had me feeling raw), and I seriously wanted to just pull over onto the shoulder of the road and cry my heart out.

The days will come when you don’t have the strength; when all you hear is ‘you’re not worth anything’. Wondering if you ever could be loved, and if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much.”
They were singing a cry of my heart, right there on the radio…and in that moment, I was the only one listening.
I struggle much more these days…It’s hard to believe anyone else see’s something special, precious, and beautiful in you when you don’t believe it yourself. When you look at yourself, and you see it’s not true. Only you know just how dirty, disgusting, how utterly repulsive you really are. And you ask yourself who could see anything in that?
I look in the mirror, and hate myself…I hate how fat I am. I dislike this or that feature. I go through the pain of this illness, with all the horrid, crippling side effects, and hate what it makes me become, what it does to me as a person, my character. I look at my selfish, dirty heart, my lack of compassion, the harshness of my life, and I hate who I am.

And you ask yourself WHO could see anything in that? Who, indeed….But Someone did. The best we have to offer is disgusting, filthy rags, but still He loved us…to the point that He took the bullet for us, so to speak. That’s the ultimate love, for the least of us…for me.

I was spoken to specifically tonight, through that radio, not as one in a group of a hundred…but me, only me. And I knew in that instant that God did love me, for me.  That He does treasure me as His…if no-one else ever saw, if no-one ever wanted me, loved me for who I really am, not just for what’s on the surface, He will still love me. And that should be enough.

The days will come when you don’t have the strength; when all you hear is ‘you’re not worth anything’. Wondering if you ever could be loved, and if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much.
You are beautiful. You’re beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this. You are beautiful. You’re beautiful. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His; you’re beautiful.
I’m praying that you have the heart to find, cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight. For all the lies you’ve held inside so long, they are nothing in the shadow of the cross.
You are beautiful. You’re beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this. You are beautiful. You’re beautiful. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His; you’re beautiful.

Before you ever took a breath, long before the world began. Of all the wonders He possessed, there was one more precious; of all the earth and skies above you’re the one He madly loves…
Enough to die.
You are beautiful. You’re beautiful in His eyes.
You are beautiful. You’re beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this. You are beautiful. You’re beautiful. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His; you’re beautiful.

The Countdown Continues…Only Two Days Left.

Well, technically, since today is nearly over, I have one day left. One day to reflect upon twenty-three. To prepare myself for twenty-four.
In so many ways, I am ready; I am ready for this new year to start, to see what God has in store. But a part of me, that reserved, even cautious, part, wishes that it would never come. There is so much to fear….pain, regret, disappointment. But as Mary Manin Morrisey said, “You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith”.

I don’t want to allow fear that much power; I definitely don’t want it to take the place of faith in my life. Instead, I choose to believe. To believe that God does indeed, just as He says, have a plan; that He is in control. Of not only my life, but of every living thing–over all creation. I choose to believe that 2011 will be even more exciting, new, strengthening, and miraculous then each passing year has been before.

And I choose to give God control of my life…to not hold back the secret, hidden parts of me. I choose to pursue Christ with my whole heart, so that I will recognize His voice and have no doubt when I hear Him say “This is the way you should go, walk in it”.

I choose hope over despair, joy over sorrow, and trust over fear. I choose Christ as my figurehead, to grace my prow, and also as my rudder, to direct my ship in the direction which most brings Him glory–to use my life in HIS great plan, not in the way that I would set forth as my plans or purpose.

I choose Christ in 2011.

Countdown to Five; Biggest Disappointment of 2010 & It’s Remedy.

Well, I guess you could say that today is actually tomorrow. Or…yesterday is today. I know I’m late. But I haven’t gone to sleep for the night, so in my book, it’s still yesterday…or, today actually.

So, today I was supposed to share with you some of my disappointments of 2010.

The most blatantly obvious can be summed up by these two words: Halfhearted and Apathetic.
The year of 2010 went by in a blur…a blur where I often merely went through the motions, halfheartedly and with great apathy. My relationships with people took a bit of a dip; in great part due to my seeming inability to keep up. I felt sluggish through a greater part of the year. And my relationship with the Lord didn’t grow stronger, deeper, more passionate, or fulfilled. It just was. In fact, I struggled quite a bit with my salvation; the fact that I could do nothing to earn myself salvation or to make myself more deserving has been quite clear to me for years. Yet, somehow, this past year, I found myself wondering at my sinful heart and actions, and thinking that I was the least deserving of all people of the grace of God. That if I could somehow pull myself together, to follow a little more strictly those guidelines set up for us through the Scriptures…well, then I might be deserving of God hearing, much less answering, my prayers. That then He might desire to spend time with me. That then, perhaps He might begin to find me beautiful.
Just how wrong was I, you may ask? Ephesians chapter two has this to say in answer to my faulty thinking:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

God started to pull me out of my faulty thinking, my halfheartedness and apathy, in the fall…but it’s still been a struggle at times. I just have to remind myself of what the scriptures say, what I know to be truth.

That, I would say, is my biggest disappointment of 2010; that I did not grow even closer to my Savior; that I did not become ‘more like Him’.
And that would be my greatest goal for 2011. To become more like my Christ with each passing day. To ask, and allow, Him to take over all of my life…to guide and direct it where He will. That is my hope for this new year.

Prayer

I have totally decided that I am getting back on my exercise routine. In spite of how I feel; ignoring any pain that tells me otherwise, I am going to conquer this thing. Thinking about it: getting in better shape isn’t necessarily going to keep me from feeling bad whenever the pain decides to strike…but it will self_fitness_girlmake it not quite as horrible. I am so tired of feeling like this all the time; and while I may continue to have only one good day out of five for some time yet till we can figure this out, I am going to fight to have the healthiest body I am capable of.
And I am going to pray like never before about it.

That is one thing I have been convicted of recently; prayer. I have been reading through Elizabeth George’s book, “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” in anticipation for my girls study which will (Lord willing) start in January, and was quickly brought up short when I reached the third chapter. ‘Of course I pray!!’ was my first response…even more quickly followed by ‘but not like that’. Not as deeply, not as completely. Not about every single thing in my life. Oh, yeah, sure I pray about big decisions to be made; for friends or acquaintances who are ill, in need of healing or help in another area. I even pray for strength to make it through the day, physically and relationally.
But there were two huge things in my life that I hadn’t really talked to God about. I mean really, intently, and intimately talked with God about. The first, I realized about a month or so ago, but haven’t been completely faithful in. I’m going to assume that pretty much only girls read this blog (if anyone), and probably only ones who I know and who know me very  well.  So I’ll go ahead and say it without fear of being taken the wrong way.
I have prayed for different things in/for my future husband; this or that character trait, health, safety, an unquenchable love for the  Lord…but I had never asked God for a husband specifically. marriage
And I don’t remember ever asking Him for His divine help in losing all my excess weight. I have struggled for years to get my extra  weight off…and only succeeded in yo-yoing with it. Now, with my recently discovered (but as of yet, still un-diagnosed) health  problems, losing this weight has become all the more important.

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills-
from whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord.”
Psalm 121:1,2

God will, I believe, give me strength if I ask for it in this area. For “this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14,15). I also know that good health is in His will, according to 1 Corinthians 6:12-14, 18-20 and 9:24-27.
I also believe that God does intend for me to marry; “for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman [was created] for the man’s sake” (1 Corinthians 11:9) and Titus 2:4,5 says to encourage the young women to love their husbands (among other things), impossible to do if they weren’t married.

So I am going to be earnestly seeking God for these specific two things. I also have a feeling I have a whole lot more to learn.

THE QUESTION

*This is so important to me, I’m posting it on both blogs…so forgive the repeat if you get it.

I was hanging out with a group of young guys and gals Sunday afternoon; had a great time. But, at one point toward the latter part of the day, ‘THE QUESTION’ came up.
People ask me what I’m doing…and I panic. ‘What in the world am I going to say? They’re gonna think I’m nuts!’

Truth is, I am.

Background.

Many of you who actually know me (yes, you select few who even bother to read this) know that I attended University for two years (last semester was spring ’09), and haven’t gone back. Why? Well, many of you know that I believe leaving was what God’s plan for me involved.
And many of you also think I’m a stark raving mad religious radical. At the very least, extremely foolish. ‘Don’t you know how the world works now? It’s the 21st century, not 1826!!’
Yeah, I do know that. But I also know that God’s word remains the same, be it 42 A.D., 1826, 2010, or 2140. Doesn’t matter what year; it has never changed, and will never change–it will always be. Will Bible-believing Christians say in 5 years that “Thou shall not murder” doesn’t apply to them ’cause it was written for people way back even before Christ’s time? No. But truth is, as humans, we like to pick and choose what we want to apply…and ignore what we don’t like, stating it as irrelevant.

I have always known what I wanted to do in my adult life; Broadway, recording artist, heck-the next Sarah Brightman. Haha…No, really that was what I wanted to do in between my childhood and adulthood (roughly between the ages of 15 & 18). But my adulthood? No, I wanted something far better. I wanted to be a wife, and a mother.  I’ve wanted that since I was five years old; probably before even. I could think of nothing better to devote one’s life to. My life to. I am neither at this time…I honestly don’t know if I ever will be. It doesn’t change the fact that that is the profession I wish to have. But…..’what if it never happens? What will you do with your life?’ Gee, I don’t know. But at 19 years of age I started to believe people when they told me I needed a back-up plan. So, college was the logical choice…music even more so. That’s what I studied for a year. Somewhere during my second semester, someone I greatly respect and admire told me that my back-up plan was equivalent to a medical student deciding to also study mechanics in case they couldn’t get a position after med school. Put that way, I realized how stupid what I was doing was. I was wasting money paying for an education I really didn’t need, and didn’t particularly want. So, I decided to leave school, and study home economics and management.

After a year of this…well, I started to listen to the world again. ‘You’re wasting your time at home. Only women who are too stupid to complete their education, who couldn’t be successful in the job-field no matter how hard they tried, stay at home with their families. You do this, and you’re proving that you are one of the useless, stupid ones.’ And if there was one thing I definitely didn’t want, it was to be considered stupid or useless. I didn’t leave because I struggled in my classes, and I wanted to be sure that everyone knew that. So, I went back. Even as I talked through it with my folks, as I went through all the motions of getting registered again, signing up for classes…I knew in my soul that I was doing this for me; I was certain that it wasn’t what God would lead me to do. Heck, I wasn’t doing it for myself, I was doing it for the world–for society’s expectations. And that semester was a wake-up call. It was probably the hardest season of my life….and trust me, in my twenty-three years I’ve been through some times of living h-ll.

I’ve grown up knowing my Bible. I know what it says on how we are to live. But that semester, God made it clear to me that I should be living my life, using my transition time, to prepare myself for my role. Titus two is what He showed me; “[Older women are to] encourage the young women (notice it does not say ‘young wives’) to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (Titus 2:4, 5) There are several things listed there that I can work towards; being sensible, pure, a worker at home, and kind. But I am not married, I don’t have any biological children; how can I love them if they don’t even exist? Proverbs 31:12 says that an excellent woman will “[do her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life.” Notice, it says ALL the days of her life–not all the days of her married life. This means, an excellent wife can do her husband good before they are man and wife, before she is of marriageable age…before she has met him, even. And what is love, anyway?

I like Merriam-Websters definition: An unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the good of another.
I Corinthians 13 lists what God’s definition of love is. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own good, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Love does not seek it’s own good. No back-up plans. It goes all-out for another. In order to love one’s husband- to love one’s children; one must understand the definition of love…must understand and be willing to commit to true love as defined by God. I wasn’t seeking the good of any other, I was looking out for myself in going back to school.
And finally, I received the final deciding word on what to do in I Corinthians 1:18-27. “…Where is the wise man?…Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through it’s wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe…Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong…”

I’m not saying that every woman who attends college or holds a college degree is/was outside of God’s will; we are all different, and God has different plans for us. But I do think that the woman’s place, as designed by God, is very different from where our culture places women now. I believe that the woman’s skills and talents are at most use in the home. And I believe that we women are greatly to blame for our country’s rapidly declining state. I am not saying men are blameless; ever since Adam and Eve, women have been stepping out in disobedience and sin, and men have passively stood by. Not all men, and not all women…but the greater part for sure. Our children are the shapers of tomorrow…if they do not have the proper, biblical upbringing that God intended, then how can we expect our country to be directed in God’s way? And if we do not walk in God’s path, how can we reasonably expect to receive God’s blessing upon our country?

“We are called to be women. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

So, yes; I am foolish…to the world I look insane. But God has chosen the things our culture considers foolish to put to shame all the ‘wisdom’ the world can muster. And, realistically speaking, I’d rather hear Christ call me wise than all the brightest professors of the world.

Autumn…Is it truly a ‘Season of Hope’?

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives,
everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me
of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.”
Anne De Lenclos

I don’t know what it is about Autumn, October especially, that inspires me so. To me, this season is what the first of January is to many–a time to start over again, a time of refreshment and hope for the future. I’m inspired–nay, I am filled with an eager need–to write on my blog…to clean and cook….Autumn inspires me mentally, physically, spiritually, and creatively…it inspires me to improve my life in the ways that I am able. If only this season could last all the year long that I might be so inspired for it’s entirety!

Alas, it is not to be so. I must make the best of the time I have been given.

I was reading late last night, just trying to get sleepy enough to dive into bed, from Captivating. This particular section stood out to me like a cannon-ball.

“‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life’ (Proverbs 4:23). Above all else. Why? Because God knows that our hear is core to who we are. It is the source of all our creativity, our courage, and our convictions. It is the fountainhead of our faith, our hope, and of course, our love. This ‘wellspring of life’ within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being. Your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you…God created you as a woman…You are a woman to your soul, to the very core of your being.”
Stasi Eldredge

I want to rejoice in being a woman. All this trash about ‘a woman can do anything a man can do’ and ‘there’s no real difference between a man and a woman’ is ridiculous!  I’m so tired of it; there is a difference, a big one! The heart of a woman is something special, I would even go so far as to say something sacred, because it was created by God for a special purpose. As a woman, I see things differently than men; my capabilities, in my own areas, are much vaster than any that men possess. That is why I am a woman. A man can do a million things that a woman cannot, and better than she could ever hope; in his individual way. Because he is a man; created to be so. We each have individual purposes and capabilities based on our gender; we were created so.
But lest I confuse you by too many differences, I will say that there are ways that we are similar.  Going back to hearts, I was reminded of the following,

“The fullness of our heart is expressed in our eyes,
in our touch, in what we write, in what we say,
in the way we walk, the way we receive,
the way we need.”
Mother Teresa

In this we, both man and woman, are similar. We express our hearts, who we are, through these different ways. And so, also, for men and women,


“Love makes burdens lighter,
because you divide them.
It makes joys more intense,
because you share them.
It makes you stronger,
so that you can reach out
and become involved with life
in ways you dared not risk alone.

‘Oh, no!’ you may be thinking, ‘Another one of those ‘single-girl’ rampages’….not so.  At least, I hope not. Our culture confuses us so much with all the back and forth about the places of men and women….the similarities…the way in which we are not alike in any way… What are we supposed to really think and believe?! I just want to be a woman…to be happy as such…and to ignore all the nonsense everyone has to say about it.
Love doesn’t always have to be of the romantic nature…take the love between two sisters, or best friends, for instance. I think this is the type of love referenced in the above quote.  Someone close, who cares for you unconditionally, spurring you on to do–to be, more. Because you no longer have that fear of ‘being alone’ to stand in your way. My sisters do this for me; my friends as well. Christ does this for me. And I can say that I am happily, as a woman, moving through life as one lived through love. At the end of all things, that is one of the things that I want to be able to say. That I lived my life with love. Love for my family, for friends, for strangers I meet casually on the street…love for my Lord and Savior directing my actions.

“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has
been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:5

“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ”.
II Thessalonians 3:5