Saturday, September 22, 2012

~My hope is from Him~

My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
~Psalm 62:5-8

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fearing One.

This next Sunday I will be doing something that I know will easily make me nervous... But as I sat down and read my Bible this morning I found the perfect reminder of how silly the fear of man is.  Once again the Lord shows Himself faithful in giving me exactly what I need to read, when I need it. :)

Isaiah 51:12-13:
 “I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
And you forget the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?"

And in verses 7 to 8:
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool;
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation.”

Oh, may I fix my eyes on Christ alone. For when I fear the One who is in control, who is steadfast in love, who created each person I'm with, all other fears dim in this Light. 

Please Lord, let me never forget this!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The purpose of creation... to point us to our Creator and praise Him.

"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” 
~John Calvin

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Steps to fearless, radical action.

Last year while I had the joy of staying with and helping a young family, I was able to attend church with them one Sunday. Listening to this sermon I felt as though I had sat down at a table covered with a feast of spiritual food. It was so practical, and so Biblical and had plenty of things to "digest." I was able to jot some notes down while having little boys sitting on my lap from time to time, drawing on my notes. :)

The points are straightforward, and are something I find very helpful for me at this time in my life. May the Lord use them to help you too!

This message was given by Josh Johnson, based on Jeremiah 1:4-10:

“Fear keeps us from doing so much.”
God has prepared good works for us…
"There is no reason you shouldn’t give yourself for His Kingdom.”
1.) God wants to use you, stop making excuses. It makes the power of God look weak when we do.
2.) Know the words and promises of the Bible. Saturate yourself in this book.
3.) Pray for God’s leading and direction.
4.) Seek guidance and wisdom from others (adults)  (i.e. How do you think I should be radical? etc.)
5.) Take a step of faith and do something where you’re at right now.  Something you can only do by His strength.
6.)  Fight against chronological snobbery.
He will work in you…

For parents:
You have a valuable influence on your children…
How to help students become radical for Jesus Christ:
1.)  Set an example for the youth… Look at how you spend your time… What do we celebrate? (it shows what we value)
2.)  Commit to encouraging and supporting and praying with them. Grab a student in the hallway and ask if you can pray with them or for them.
3.) Offer wisdom and insight from the Bible and your own experiences.
4.) Fight against cynicism.  It’s really easy to be skeptical.
5.) Be willing to let students take steps of faith.
6.) Trust in the promises of God.  They’re for you and your child.

For all: It’s Christ and His work on the cross that gives us the ability and motivation to be radical.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A beautiful, glorious tapestry...

I just wanted to share this quote with you all quick ~ I find it very encouraging!

"But we forget the fact that God sometimes makes things an awful lot worse before they get any better. Just remember that God may do the opposite of what you expect, but don’t forget it might look like the backside of a Persian rug to you but on the other side, the side that God sees, it’s a beautiful, glorious tapestry. What we’re seeing today is the backside." 
~ John MacArthur

Isn't it a delight to know that the Lord is at work even when life seems dark or confusing? In the end, it all will be worth it. In the end we will be like Him, when we see Him face to face. Not one thread in this life, whether it be painfully dark or beautiful, is there by mistake. It is all there to make a beautiful tapestry of His grace and glory! 
Yes, Lord! I can trust You!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rescuer of the drowning

I looked out across the lake.  At the waves. Rippling. Ebbing. Water holds such soothing beauty. And yet, such danger.

And this thought kept stirring in my heart as I gazed out at this dangerous beauty: Jesus walked on water.

That awes me. Especially since I've almost drowned two times in my life. 

Drowning equals complete helplessness. There is nothing to do, except vainly fight for life and hope that someone will rescue. 

And so it is with my soul. I am completely helpless and hopeless in and of myself. I begin to drown when my eyes are focused on the storm and not my Savior. Focusing on the circumstances around and tensing with anxiousness can come close to harming me {Psalm 37:8}. 

Jesus is bigger than any wave of fear or any problem that comes crashing.

Storms threaten to take my gaze off of Him. But there is hope in hopelessness. He hears the cry in the heart of His child. And rescues. 

Relaxing may not be a natural default setting for me, but the Lord can fill me with perfect peace. Because He is peace. I can surrender my cares to Him. 

And my heart is quieted as I look out at the rippling water, knowing that the Lord is an anchor in the storm. A rescuer of the drowning. I can rest and put all faith and confidence in Him, the author and perfecter of this unshakable faith.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~John 14:27 

Author's note: Near drowning has not damped my love for water in the least bit. =)