I am not even halfway through this book and it is causing me to ask serious questions and to make changes in my daily walk. If you don't want to change, don't read it...
I have been on what i consider both extreme ends of the spectrum of Christianity...I have been completely lost in the pit of sin and I have felt God's presence so closely that I though I could never fall again.
There have been thoughts and feelings I have had that many people might think have been crazy or not well thought out (i.e. selling my house to go to China). This book is showing me that those things are not crazy and that GOd has called ALL believers to follow Him as closely as possible. He talks about "radicals" and how many people in the Western church see him and the ministry he has started for the Lord as being radical. He says:
That being said, I have a brief China update...I have had my newsletters written for quite a bit but haven't actually mailed them all out yet because I have hand written notes and hand addressed them all....so, the official newsletters will hopefully all be mailed out by midweek this coming week. Some got early copies because I was really excited, but you will all get "official" newsletters too!
Also, if anyone out there wants a one on one meeting with me to learn more about what I will be doing with my Father in China, let me know! I will also be calling within the next months to set some meetings up with folks so I look forward to getting to share the passion my Father has given me for His work in China!
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I began my day by joining the gals for Bible study this morning...God's GRACE was the topic and the conversation was perfect and I was blessed by it!...then I went to the Creation museum...I enjoyed trekking through creation and the planetarium which is a MUST SEE....
Then my friends Geri and Rich preformed Gomer, a play that is about Hosea's wife...it is written and preformed by Geri, who took creative license to interpret the story of Gomer. It is a fabulous testimony about redeeming love and grace and mercy...I had seen it before but this time I was not with a date and was able to truly feel and experience the emotion that comes with knowing and feeling the grace that God extends to us.
So...I am blessed and continue to try and live under God's grace daily, realizing it is a day by day choice...
P.S...watch for my newsletter via mail/e-mail
If I don't have your mailing or e-mail address...let me know...I will add it!
Anyhow...I am really striving right now not to complain or "belly ache" about how my life is going...the tears are flowing which actually feels great and I am absolutely striving to find some bit of wisdom or comfort...I know my Father is here and I know that He is totally strengthening me but life just stinks tonight you know?
I actually have good and bad things that have happened today and as I wrote the last bit, I know it was my Father that brought the following bit to mind! :)
So, I was at my grandma's tonight (my dad's mom) for dinner. Well that side of the fam is very liberal and they in no way want anything to do with religion and have no concept of what a relationship with my Father is about...either that or they blatantly choose not to have one. So, I was sitting on the couch with my uncle and we were watching football and he began asking me about China...I had the chance to discuss with Him the things that I would be doing and more importantly the reasons.
My grandpa was in WWII and earned a bronze star while there. He served the US postal service for over 25 years after that and was pretty high up though I am not sure of his actual title. My family absolutely places him on a pedestal and we all are just proud of where he has been and how he has served. I am VERY proud to have my last name because of Him...
I say all of that to tell you that God led me to relate what I was going to be doing in China to my grandpa. My grandma has been kind of discouraging in my preparation and coming move to China and she says that I don't appreciate the government or the freedom that we have...
I was able to tell my uncle today that I DO appreciate the freedom I have here....but what I appreciate and absolutely love more is the freedom I have in my Father. People in China don't know my Father and don't know the freedom that they can find in Him...They don't have the opportunities to know Him that we have here in the US. And I, more than anything just want to tell them how they can be free...
Glory to the Father for writing this blog because I totally got on to complain and wrote it exactly how the thoughts were coming to my brain...hahaha....even that last bit...the end.
I have an amazing praise though and it overshadows the computer problem a thousand fold! My mom and I have come to an agreement concerning my house! PRAISE THE LORD!!! I will be able to move to China debt free, assuming all goes well with our plan, AND keep my house! He has proved to be amazingly faithful and I am just blessed to see Him work after so much prayer!
Thank YOU all for your prayers! I am blessed to be surrounded by such a fab group!
During the past months, God has placed this Scripture on my mind and heart A LOT!!!
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. '"
You are God, Creator of everything, compassionate, gracious, abounding in love, redeemer, Father, Friend, wonderful Counselor, Physician,...You are EVERYTHING that I could ever want or need! You are more than I deserve!
Lord, I desire to glorify you in EVERYTHING! Please forgive me for failing to make good decisions and for allowing my sin to transform in to footholds. Deliver me from evil so that I can glorify you in my life! Allow me to be transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I can know what your will is for my life. Show me how to throw away detestable idols so that I don't stray from you ever again! I want to be a blessing to the nations of the world so that ALL people will come and praise YOUR name!
YOU ARE GOD, HELP ME TO RECOGNIZE THAT WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT!
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray,
We’ve all lived long enough to know
That sometimes life will go our way
And other times it won’t
But still I’ve got this joy inside of me
With each new dawn I do believe to
Say hey, it’s a good day
Even if things aren’t going my way
Jesus is Lord and I am saved
So, say hey, it’s a good day
Circumstance and situations change
You know life can turn on a dime
But there’s a constant hope and peace
That I have come to find
And it’s all because of who God is
And that He is alive and I am His, so
Say hey, it’s a good day
Even if things aren’t going my way
Jesus is Lord and I am saved
So, say hey, it’s a good day
We are all as happy as we make our minds up to be
I have just decided that nothing’s gonna take this joy from me
Say hey, it’s a good day
Even if things aren’t going my way
Jesus is Lord and I am saved
So, say hey, it’s a good day
The mark on my arm lasted for like 5 or 6 hours! I thought it was going to be permanent! HA!
Here are some pics from Andy's fab birthday party as well!
So, back in February...I think...a bunch of us attended the Beth Moore satellite simulcast at 1st church, then Sallie and her cousin and I headed directly over to Cincinnati Gardens to see Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Louie Giglio. The whole experience is more than I can verbalize or write but let me just stick with the facts given to us by Louie during his "sermon." It was quite amazing and it gives our brains a little bit of something to grasp onto, if that is possible, in relation to how HUGE our universe really is.
OK...Laminin will come later...1st, he was talking about how small we are in relation to the universe, and the galaxies that God created as part of the "heavens and earth" we hear about in Genesis 1:1.
For those of you familiar with Chris Tomlin, he wrote two songs, How Great is Our God and Indescribable...The 2nd is the continuation of the first and it is his way of expressing his amazement and wonder for how HUGE our universe is and how small we are!
In the message of Indescribable the heavens are telling the glory of God, and their expanse declares the work of His hands. Night after night they remind us of just how small we are, and how huge God is. Looking out into the far reaches of the universe, we find a seemingly infinite expanse of mystery and wonder, intricately fashioned by a God of unfathomable size and power. Just a glimpse of one of the billions of visible galaxies He has formed resizes us, shrinking us, and the world we call home, to seeming insignificance in an instant. But as tiny as we may seem, the God who knows every star by name also knows yours, and mine. And in the most stunning rescue imaginable, God sent His Son to this spinning planet we call home--the Creator reconnecting us to Him with life that never ends.
How Great is Our God picks up where Indescribable left off.
M51 or the whirlpool galaxy astronomers call it the "darling of astronomy." last year, Louie Giglio show us two things about this galaxy in the deep reaches of space.
1. Every second there are new stars being bored. Millions of star incubators are found within the whirlpool galaxy.
2. Not only that, but at the center of this galaxy is a black hole which the Hubble Telescope took a picture of...and wow, check this out
Tell me God isn't in that!!! I looked it up..the whole thing is 1100 light years big! THAT IS SOOOO BIG...God is BIGGER...Praise the fabulous Lord!
Ok...so this thing is like so far away we can't comprehend, you know? And I totally do not get all the scientific talk, but I do get that God is in EVERY single detail, and He loves to show off and allows us to see things such as this black hole, to remind us that He is there, and here...and in control!
OK...so we go from something that is sooo huge that Earth could fit into it a few hundred times, to the smallest thing that makes up the human body, LAMININ!!!
Laminin is what holds the cells together in our body...so what right? Well, I will let you watch the following video to find out...and note, the reference to Colossians...which we were talking about on Sunday!
To silence the music, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the pause button.
What a great example for us to follow! Hannah was unable to bear children and begged God for a son. When He gave her a son, she gave him back without Him asking her to. Not even Abraham thought to do this on his own. He had to be asked to give his son up for the Lord. Hannah, willingly brought Samuel to the altar! How much more should we be willing to give up the things in our lives without Him asking us to? I feel like I am definitely giving some things up, and believe me, it is most definitely something I am willing to do, but God most definitely asked it of me. I didn't think of it on my own! I want to get to the place where I know what God requires, and give it to Him before He asks!
The above are my thoughts on this passage. Below, I had to include Beth Moore's thoughts! She is just a fabulous woman with more life experience and insight to share with us than I could ever have!
Beth points out that to dedicate Samuel to the Lord before he was actually born would indeed be a much easier feat than after he was born. Not only did she wait till he was born, but also until he was weaned, which would have been at about age 3 for the time in history that we are talking about. So Beth says, "I cannot imagine a more difficult time to tear myself away from a child. Still young enough to be such a baby! Old enough to question why."
Beth also points out that God allowed Hannah to be childless so that she would petition God for a child instead of assuming it to be a "typical result of marital relations." That is why she was able to dedicate him entirely to the Lord. God had amazing plans for Samuel...His plan for Samuel was "far more significant than what the most loving set of parents could devise" on their own.
When she returned to the place she had committed her child to God, the Tabernacle of Shiloh, she said to Eli, "Sir do you remember me? I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and He has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life." And they worshiped the Lord there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28
It wasn't just Hannah and everybody BUT Samuel worshiping...Samuel at the ripe old age of 3 or so, was worshiping as well!
"I recall a scene, engraved in many of our memories, of a tiny boy stepping forward from His grieving mother, saluting the flag-draped coffin of a man who was not only his daddy, but the President of the United States. Imagine another scene: A tiny three-year old boy, still with creases of satiny baby skin around his plump little thighs, bending his knee and bowing before El Elyon, the sovereign God of all creation. How precious this child must have been to God. How in the world could a child of that age have such respect for the God of the universe?"
I will leave you with a portion of Hannah's prayer of praise, found in it's entirety in 2 Samuel 2:1-10.
"My heart rejoices in the Lord!
The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no rock like our God."
So, God just spoke straight to my heart, and overwhelmed me today at church. I wasn't going to go. I had a late night at work and was out after that till about 6:30 am so I didn't want to go. Well, He gave me the strength to pull myself out of bed in time for the 11 o' clock service and I am so thankful He did!
Let me begin with the past few days! I have been discussing my sinful nature and the things I have been indulging myself in with a few of my closest friends lately and God has just used them to remind me that when I don't feel loved or accepted by family or anybody else, HE is there. Not only is He there, I should seek ONLY His approval, no one else's.
I am so thankful for my friends and how honest they have been in telling me to get my stuff together. They are right in the fact that I have no business AT ALL giving up or turning to sin when HE gave everything up for me and accepts me and has gifted me to serve Him.
So, then several months ago I had spotted a book by Beth Moore called David, 90 Days with a Heart Like his. I thought to myself then that I would really like to read it. Then yesterday I was thinking about David and the Psalms he has written and just all the sin he was in and out of and thought that maybe it would be a good time to buy the book. THEN...today I went to church and what was the sermon? "Overcoming Giants." OK, so as I write this the tears are a flowing because I honestly thought to myself a couple or few days ago that God should give up on me. I definitely would have given up on me, and was very close to giving up on myself. Al these things coming together, show me how He is pursuing me and wanting me to be completely focused on Him in EVERYTHING! Thank you Father! So, if that isn't enough...I bought hte book today as soon as I was finished with lunch....and on the first page, Beth writes these words, "we cannot out-sin God's ability to forgive."
All I have left to say is praise the Almighty God that created us to live on Earth AND who pursues us. He didn't just put us here and leave us! He wants us to fellowship with Him and His people and He most of all wants us to engage in a relationship with Him....Praise the FABULOUS Lord!!!
"Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you."
It is hard because sometimes I KNOW that I shouldn't be in that place. He provides a way out and I ignore it because I think that is what I want and that will fulfill this need within me.
I can't say that I have fought back and am where I need to be again, but I am recognizing, through the support of a few friends that God wants better for me, even when I don't think I deserve it. And that He deserves better, even if I feel like I don't. Make sense at all? Does to me, hope it does for you too!
Anyhow, I share all of this so that you guys can pray for me AND because sometimes, when I am in this place, I feel alone. I want everybody to know that we ALL struggle with sin and we have each other to lean on. That is what the body of Christ is about! I love you people so much and am so thankful for the friendships that have developed over the past few years as well as the NEW friendships that are developing! You guys are FABULOUS!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin."
"This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity."
1 Timothy 4:10-13
Sometimes I remember that God is bigger and able to hold the weight of this world for me.
Sometimes I am hurt by the people that surround me.
Sometimes it is upon the people that surround me that I have to become vulnerable.
Sometimes I look inside myself and despise what I see.
Sometimes I look inside myself and realize how beautiful God alone has made me.
Sometimes I am hurt by the little things.
Sometimes I overcome the harshest realities and brush it off like it's nothing.
Sometimes I wonder why I am so shallow in my thinking and living.
Sometimes I feel like I am beyond myself with progress God has made in my heart.
Sometimes I am just overwhelmed with my humanity.
Sometimes I have a million things to say, and not a single chance to say them.
Sometimes I have all the time in the world to speak and am rendered speechless.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the presence of God in my life.
Sometimes I am caught so deeply in a pit of sin that I can't see even an inkling of light.
Sometimes I am so stressed that I can't sleep or eat.
Sometimes I am overtaken by the peace and joy only He can give.
Sometimes the power of God shines so brightly before me that I don't know how I ever lost
sight or will ever lose sight again.
First is one that I have mentioned in the last blog. "He who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." 10:37. I find this one pretty self explanatory.
Also, "Another of his disciples said, 'Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.' But Jesus told him, 'Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.'" Matthew 8:21-22. Now, I resorted to the notes at the bottom of the page for this one. Either this man wanted to return to bury his father's actual dead body, or he wanted to return until his father died and to receive his inheritance. Neither reason was acceptable to Jesus. Whatever the reason was, he didn't want to commit to Jesus yet. Jesus didn't even want family loyalty to override the cost of obedience. NOTHING should be placed above total commitment to living for Him.
This one is the kicker for me...just to let you know...
"Then Peter said to him, 'We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?'
So, I am continuing to pray that the Lord will guide me through His word and speak to me and guide me...I am so totally willing to do ANYTHING He asks, so pray with me that His will and what He is asking would be completely clear!
Day by day for Jesus...
My heart has been shattered tonight. Literally just broken into millions of pieces. But, I know He is there holding me and I am striving to please Him in EVERYTHING that I do. He is in control and I will not compromise His calling on my life for anything!
I pray that He receives all the glory in my pursuit of Him...Cause satan sure is trying to get in the way...BIG TIME. He knows right where to sock it to us to try and get us down. I was down for maybe 3 minutes...But the Lord is the Lord and did what He does best...won!
Anyhow, I will just say that I am willing to give EVERYTHING over to the Lord...He will do what He wills with it. My job is simply to follow and be obedient. Suffering will surely come in following Him, He tells us it will, but peace will reign in my heart as it is now!
"All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes....Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her motherinlaw—
a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:22-23, 34-39
I got this from When God Whispers Your Name, By: Max Lucado.
Unhappiness on Earth cultivates a hunger for Heaven. By gracing us with a deep dissatisfaction, God holds our attention. The only tragedy, then, is to be satisfied prematurely. To settle for Earth. To be content in a strange land...
We are not happy here because we are not at home here. We are not happy here because we are not supposed to be happy here. We are "like foreigners and strangers in this world" (1Peter 2:11)
Take a fish and place him on the beach. Watch his gills gasp and scales dry. Is he happy? NO! How do you make him happy? Do you cover him with a mountain of cash? Do you get him a beach chair and sunglasses? Do you bring him a Playfish magazine and martini? Do you wardrobe him in double breasted fins and people skinned shoes?
Of course not. Then how do you make him happy? You put him back in his element You put him back in the water. He will never be happy on the beach simply because he was not made for the beach.
You will never be completely happy on Earth simply becasue you were not made for earth. Oh, you will have moments of joy. You will catch glimpses of light. You will know moments or even days of peace. But they simply do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead.
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."
1 John 3:1-3
I have been reading a book, The Heavenly Man, By: Brother Yun. It is an amazing true story of how God has been making Himself known throughout China and the suffering that Brother Yun has undergone to further His kingdom in China. I am not finished with this story yet but one specific thing just completely floored me about Brother Yun's experience while in prison. He fasted from food AND water for 74 days while enduring extremely poor conditions and abuse in prison. The Lord sustained him through this time and many were saved because of the witness and example of God's power that this was. He broke his fast during the first visit he had with his family while being in prison. He broke it through the taking of communion. The guards that were watching him and his family had been "confused" during their visit, and did not know what had happened during his visit with his family. The Lord allowed Him that fellowship with his family to strengthen and renew him.
So, I was in the main service at 11am this week, which was about freedom we have in America as well as in Christ. The whole time, the Lord placed China on my heart and mind. I was sitting there and thinking about the lack of freedom that they have to worship openly there as well as the freedom they can gain in Christ. As I was thinking about these things I realized tears were just streaming down my face. Communion took on a totally different meaning as I treasured the ability we have to worship openly and to commune with one another openly and to praise His name. It hit me how ignorant we are to the events taking place in other parts of the world where there are Christian brothers and sisters suffering for the Lord. We have it so easy here and have no concept as to what it is to give EVERYTHING over to Him.
So, I guess I share all of that to say, I feel the Lord calling me to China. I am going to pursue China at this point and if He doesn't want me to go, He is completely capable of stopping me right? I covet your prayers more than ever in this endeavor and am so excited to see how the Lord is going to be glorified through this experience!
Living day by day for Jesus...
"It is God's will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God's slaves, so don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king." 1 Peter 2:15-17
So, as I was watching this movie there was one major thing that stuck out to me. As, I have heard the story of Noah and the ark, I don't think this has ever stuck out as much as it did during the movie. The thing that stuck out is the fact that Noah really did sacrifice sooo much for the Lord. I don't mean physical things though there was physical sacrifice for sure, but he sacrificed his reputation. Now, you may find yourself thinking, yeah well he is Noah and that makes him better than me and therefore it was easy for him. That is simply not true. In fact, Noah was no saint. He made mistakes. For example, he got drunk and embarrassed himself in front of his sons.
Well, while watching the movie, which of course is set in modern times, it brings to light the fact that we ALL face pressure to live up to what our families and peers want for us. When God calls us to be different, which HE most definitely does, we find it hard to give up thinking about what others will think about us and doing it for Him who created us and controls us. We also may think that we are just not good enough to serve the Creator of the universe, after all that is a pretty big responsibility.
Think about the condition of things at the time God asked Noah to build the ark. God found favor with NO OTHER PERSON ON EARTH at the time. Now, I honestly am not sure if I could live up to that standard. If EVERYBODY I knew was living in paganism and "wickedness" I cannot say that I wouldn't conform. Noah stood out and remained faithful to the Lord and what He was asking of him.
I guess what it all boils down to for me is that we ALL make mistakes and are human, God recognizes that. BUT we need to be growing in our faith and walk with the Lord and become willing to take more risks for Him as we grow.
I am asking myself what risks I am willing to take right now...and I am praying about how I can get to the point that Noah did, at which point I would give it ALL up for HIM.
Many times when I sin I try to hide from God...the reasons can vary but for the most part it boils down to shame. I am ashamed of what I have done and hide because my faith isn't strong enough to realize He will continue to love me even though I have committed such sin. When I have tried to hide my sin I fall deeper into sin and into a pit of darkness. The situation tends to get worse rather than improving when I try to hide things.
When I humble myself and admit that I was wrong, and ask for forgiveness, He has always been right there waiting and accepts me into His arms once again! He forgives me and continues to lead me in the way I should go. He wants me to learn from the mistake(s) I made so that I don't repeat it. I also believe that we are able to use these mistakes we have made in helping others who might struggle with the same things in life.
When I try to hide and suffer the consequences of shame, my self image suffers. I don't see myself as Jesus sees me. There are MANY who experience this.
"To say 'I believe in Jesus' is not enough. You must be willing to acknowledge Him as the most important person in your life. You must be willing to say, 'I will do what He wants me to do above all else and above any demands that others place upon me.' If you will make that decision, I have great news for you--I can promise you a very psitive self-image. When Jesus is the most important in your life, you will soon come to define yourself in the same way Jesus defines you. You will begin to think of yourself as He thinks of you. And there is more good news: Jesus thinks you're great! He thinks you're terrific. He really does." --Tony Campolo
When I accept His forgiveness, I stand before Jesus "clothed in righteousness." PRAISE THE LORD!!!
"The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green pastures. He leads me to calm water. He gives me new strength. He leads me on paths that are right for the good of his name. Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because you are with me. Your rod and your walking stick comfort me. You prepare a meal for me in front of my enemies. You pour your oil on my head; you fill my cup to overflowing. Surely your goodness and love will be with me all of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." Psalms 23:1-6 (NCV)
God IS like a shepherd to us! When I stray, He comes to find me. When I am in need of a drink, he leads me to a spring. When I am hungry, He provides food. When I am in danger, He protects me from the enemy.
I AM like a sheep. I wonder away from Him and need His protection and guidance. I need to be found and pursued and provided for.
God cares for His people much like a shepherd cares for His sheep. We can trust that He will provide for us much more than a shepherd would a sheep. Praise the Lord! He cares for each one of us individually! This means that we don't have to worry about anything! (Easier said than done right?
I will be the first to admit that I am not good at trusting Him ALL the time. I struggle more with consistency in trusting Him than any other aspect of my relationship with Him. I often feel that I am not worthy of being saved and that others are better than myself and therefore they deserve Him more than I do.
That simply is NOT true! It limits the power of the cross when I feel this way! He does not place levels on sin. I feel like some of the things I have done have been so ugly that I CAN'T be saved...BUT...it is me that places the level on the sin I have committed. The truth is that any sin, whether it is a little white lie, adultery, murder, or whatever it might be, it still nailed Jesus to the cross.
When I am having a hard time with the situation I am in, it is often easy to get bogged down in the "why me?" attitude and to take my eyes off of Him. This is wrong as well! We should be able to withstand any suffering placed on us with the attitude of Jesus. That way glory will be brought to Him through our suffering! In verse 3 it says that "He will lead me on paths that are right for the GOOD OF HIS NAME!!!"
That is all for now! PEACE!
So, here it goes...
"Protect me God, because I trust in you. I said to the LORD ,'You are my LORD. Every good thing I have comes from you.'
As for the Godly people in the world, they are the wonderful ones I enjoy. But those who turn to idols will have much pain. I will not offer blood to those idols or even speak their names.
No, the Lord is all I need. He takes care of me. My share in life has been pleasant; my part has been beautiful.
I praise the LORD because He advises me. Even at night, I feel His leading. I keep the Lord before me always. Because He is close by my side, I will not be hurt. So I rejoice and I am glad. Even my body has hope, because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot.
You will teach me how to live a holy life. Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever."
Psalm 16:1-11 (NCV)
So, what does Amber think about this?
Well, I see that trusting God is huge in this passage. As I think about trusting God I have thought about people that I know and want to be like because of their faith in God. And there are many people that I admire for their willingness to trust and step out in faith to go around the world and that is what I myself want to do. But recently I have seen an example of somebody who would absolutely love to be in that position however she has chosen to trust God to use her within her family. She has taken what she wants out of the equation and trusts God to use her where she is. I think that by trusting Him, what God wants for her and what she wants have kind of combined and become one in the same. That is amazing to me and I hope to be there one day!
Also, when we trust God, He will not fail us and He knows what we need before we know that we need it. In my life I notice, when I trust Him, that He has protected me not only physically, but He has protected my heart as well. When I have taken things into my own hands my heart and physical well being have been put into jeopardy. When I trust, He surrounds me with people that I can lean on and love and be loved by. And when He provides such protection and support, it helps me to trust Him more fully.
Also, in thinking about the lack of trust in God that I sometimes have and the fear that strikes...I realize that distrust puts a barrier between my God and me. When I am not fully trusting Him that means that there is a barrier there preventing the trust from taking place and I have put it there. God doesn't put those barriers there...
Lastly we shouldn't fear because "He's been there before. He knows how these shows end. He knows that the worst fear the foe can throw is only a mirage. And He wants us to listen to His voice and Trust Him." --Max Lucado
There are times that fear is going to strike, "there are times when we need a pair of strong arms. You need to know that the arms of God are there." --Max Lucado
Psalm 1:1-6 (NCV)
This passage means several things to me. I personally have been so wrong in my thinking that I should see how close to the line I can get while remaining "holy". That has been completely wrong! I need to strive to be as holy as possible and to be truly set apart for the Lord so that He is truly able to shine through me!
I want to learn what the Lord has said in His Word and I want it to be written upon my heart so that I am "strong like a tree planted by a river." I want to produce fruit that will glorify my God who gave everything up for me!
The fact that I could be considered wicked if I do not submit to His will for my life truly freaks me out...because not only will I not escape punishment...I will be destroyed. That has ETERNAL implications...I cannot imagine, and it sends shivers through my body to imagine eternity without the presence of my Creator. Whether we recognize God here on earth or not, the fact of the matter is that He is present here. We cannot comprehend what it would be like without him.
Praise the Lord for His presence and grace!
Due to a high demand...I have created a blog...Believe it or not Steve Grill you are not the first to suggest it but when you did, I made the decision to just do it. I post on myspace and facebook as well but it is probably much easier for people not already plugged into those sights to check in here to see what I have to say. Starting off, I just want to let you all know that I have loved writing from an early age. I use journaling a lot as an outlet and throughout junior high, high school and college, my teachers/professors were very complimenting of my writing. So, I just pray that the Lord can use it for whatever purpose He has for it! I love to do it and hope that His glory can come from it...I can't promise, daily, or even weekly posts. I write as the Lord leads and will do my best in keeping this updated AT LEAST weekly... Thanks for all of the encouragement and I hope this is useful! Living day by day for Jesus.... Amber