Saturday, October 29, 2016

2 Timothy 2


“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭143:8‬ 

We recently began a study of 2 Timothy with Beth Moore's latest study Entrusted. In it she encourages handwriting each verse in the book. But before I get to that, I re-read chapter 2. I had forgotten how rich this single chapter is. Choosing one verse or concept to share is unfair to whole of it. So here it is: 

“Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus. They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith. But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the LORD must turn away from evil.” In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ 2


I highly encourage you to handwrite scripture too. Choose a book, stick to a chapter, or if all you've got is time for a verse—just do it. It's proven to be both therapeutic and fortifying in my life. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Calvary Road

"The simple truth is that the only beautiful thing about a Christian is Jesus Christ. God wants us to recognize that fact as true in our experience, so that in true brokenness and self-despair we shall allow Jesus Christ to be our righteousness and holiness and all in all—and that is victory." -Roy Hessin, The Calvary Road.

This little book has had a huge impact in my life and the lives of my Sisters loved by God. Together and as individuals we have been challenged, we have wrestled with our hurts and self will, and worked through some tough issues. As for me, the conclusion to this life altering book is that brokenness is a beautiful place. It is in brokenness that I have found, and continue finding, the wholeness of Christ. None of us is perfect, and for everything that we are not He says, "I AM." And I am fully content with that. Sinful. Broken. Humbled. Free.

"Rather, the reverse is true, for out of such confession God gets glory, for we declare Him to be right. This brings a new experience of victory in Christ, for it declares afresh that 'in me (that is, my flesh) dwelleth no good thing,' and brings us to a place where we give up trying to make our incorrigible selves holy and where we take Jesus to be our holiness and His life to be our life." Page 105

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Elisabeth Elliot on worry

Worry is the antithesis of trust. 
You simply cannot do both. 
They are mutually exclusive.
-Elisabeth Elliot




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Guidance


photo from google

All of us are too inexperienced to try to make it through life without a guide. God’s Word is that guide. Psalm 119 unfolds the manifold features of God’s Word, showing how dynamically and practically it will assist us in all of life’s circumstances. But no single verse focuses this more clearly than verse 105, which shows how God’s Word lights the way, giving direction for each step (“to my feet”) and giving wisdom for long-range plans (“to my path”). 

Joshua links the regular application of God’s Word to life as the most certain way to both success and prosperity in living (Josh. 1:8). Further, Psalm 119:130 notes the wisdom God’s Word gives to the “simple,” reminding us not to make decisions based on human delusion or outright senselessness. Also, Proverbs 6:23 reminds us that the reproofs of God are essential and for life. 


Let God’s Word guide, correct, instruct, lead, teach, and confirm. Do not hasten ahead without it—ever.
—Jack Hayford 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8


Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. Psalm 119:130

For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life. Proverbs 6:23

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Ugly Twins: Fear & Failure

Christmas is almost here and I am so excited. Gift giving/recieving is my numero uno love language. I love shopping and selecting gifts for those I love. You are not the exception! I have a Christmas gift for you too. Today's post was written by my lovely friend Stephanie for you. She's no stranger to Living As A Lily, here is the link to her Thanksgiving post from 2012 that'll give you a little history: click HERE. Go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, with lots of marshmallows, and unwrap what Stephanie and Jesus have prepared for you!

The Ugly Twins: Fear & Failure, by Stephanie Landa


I am so honored Raquel invited me to write on her blog! When she first asked, I quickly responded, “YES!” Not having any idea what to write about, I took a leap of faith and trusted God would reveal exactly what He wanted me to share on this blog. After a couple of days, I knew exactly what to write about, and so here it goes…

“You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail.” –Proverbs 19:21

Summer of 2013 was when I first found out I was going to start my career as a 1st grade teacher. I was filled with excitement but so much more with FEAR. Fear of the unknown! And so, I began my career where I almost immediately fell in love with those 1st graders. Not only were they amazing, but so was the administration and my coworkers. After a very short time (1 month and a half), I quit! Yup, I quit! (If you know me, you know I’m not a quitter)

I could only imagine what you are thinking. “This girl is crazy! What in the world happened?”

Well, within that short amount of time of teaching, I struggled so much with fear and anxiety. Endless nights of not sleeping because my mind would not shut up. I felt like I needed everything to be perfect and so rather than allowing myself to plan, do the best that I can, and “let it go” (yes, I totally quoted Frozen), I drove myself insane. (I seemed to have forecasted the rest of my life based off of one moment) I lost a great amount of weight, I disconnected myself from almost everyone, my faith in God was lost, etc. which led me all to a deep depression. My family, fiancĂ©, and friends were all extremely concerned about me.

I remember the day that I quit. I felt like a complete failure. I felt like I lost my identity. Even now as I write this, my eyes fill up with tears because the way I felt that day and even months after, was THE hardest time of my life. Now please don’t judge me. I understand God has blessed me with SO MUCH, but at that time, I did NOT have the right perspective and was completely lost. I felt like my identity was in my career (I now know my identity is found in Christ and Christ alone; He defines me) and once I lost that, I felt a great amount of anguish.

Almost my entire life, I thought I was created to be a teacher. I had all these plans set for my life. You would think that I had already learned my lesson about FULLY trusting God and letting Him do as He pleases (you can read more about thise HERE).

Almost 6 months later, I figured it all out. I had all these plans, but God had His ultimate plan and I could not be happier. His purpose did prevail (as it always does) and I found my niche in life and that is to be a Middle School teacher. (I know, I’m crazy, but there is something so special about the middle school students) I won’t bore you with the details as to how I got to this point in my life, but its crazy how all along God had been molding me.

God is able to do “exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that we could ask or think.” I believe this and because I do I will trust Him, take Him at His word, keep on moving forward. I will fight fear by declaring the promises found in God's word over my life. I have learned a lot and I've shared all of this to strengthen you. I encourage you to make plans in your heart, and get moving, but give God room to direct your steps. Make plans, but keep them fluid. Don’t make them concrete! Allow God to flexibility with those plans, to move them around if needed, to line up those desires to His Word and will. A lot of us sit around waiting for direction from God, but He is waiting for you to draw near to Him. Do step out in faith! Filled with the Holy Spirit you can take gutsy risks on the desires of your heart. Get those feet moving as He leads you.

God is the keeper of your heart and will protect it. He will inspire, encourage, nurture, and breathe new life when needed. Dream big! Make plans! Get moving! He's got you!

    * Stephanie has also contributed: Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

happy 5th birthday blogie

photo credit

I know I'm a little late in posting... actually, I've been lost lately.
Much (an not much) has happened in this past year. But I can sum it all with this one verse:
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1
 God led me to do the unexpected. Out of my very mouth unimaginable words poured forth, "I'm stepping down." Say What?!?! Who... Me...  Yes! And there I sat, in tears, knowing that these very words were not spoken by my will but by God's very Spirit.

You see, I'm not an educated person like most of my peers. I didn't go to college. I have no degree, or even an AA. And though I had no title to define me, I was defined by service and ministries.

In a very inconspicuous way, these works were idols in my life. I was going to church to serve, and without notice my attendance for God alone was less and less. Don't get me wrong, I didn't drift from God. On the contrary, my service was for Him. But I was all works and neglectful of my own heart. The words of Jesus echo loudly to me concerning Mary, "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42.

The next day I sat in my car crying. I doubted that God had spoken through me. I was afraid that this decision was the wrong one. I feared that this decision would affect my youth girls and the various ministries I was involved in. Worst of all, was I trusting God or cowardly running? I wept bitterly. At that moment I knew I needed to hear from God. I read from Jack Hayford's YouVersion Plan, Praise In The Presence of God:
God Is Our Reward
God never demands a sacrifice for the divine pleasure of smelling its aroma or because He needs us to tickle His pride. The objective is our release—our growth.
God asked Abraham to offer Isaac. Not to exploit Abraham’s emotions or to destroy Isaac, but to take away forever Abraham’s fear that God might not have his best interest at heart. Only in worship do we draw close enough to discern God’s true nature and loving heart.
God gave Abraham no immediate monetary reward for worshiping Him, but the reward was immensely grander—God Himself! (Jack Hayford)
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Genesis 15:1
God was asking me that very moment to willingly offer my works. Not to exploit my emotions or to destroy these ministries but to take away forever my fear that God might not have His best interest at heart. It was in fact through this act of worship that I have been able to draw close enough to discern God's nature and loving heart. He has been my shield these past few months, my exceedingly great reward.

The sacrifice was more than just stepping down from serving at church. It meant seeking a place of refuge where He would restore, revive, and renew me. Even I can recognize that old habits don't die so easily. I prayed for God's guidance and He provided such a place. Remember, God's objective through our sacrifice is our growth. And I have been growing. That is something beautiful that can not be taken from me.

I can't put to words all that He has been revealing to me, or even what He is stirring in my heart. But I can tell you this, He is making me new. 

I have been lost with reason. I've been enjoying my reward, God himself.

Anywho, now that I have brought you up to date...CHEERS to the fifth year!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lyrical Friday - You Revive Me



Happy Friday! 

One word to describe the season I find myself in: Revive
A few definitions that capture the meaning are: 
  • to bring or be brought back to life, vigor, consciousness, or strength; 
  • resuscitate or be resuscitated 
  • to give or assume new vitality 
  • to return a flourishing condition, flourish again 
  • to make or become operative or active again 
If Revive is my word, than You Revive Me by Christy Knockles is my theme. Outwardly I have always been vivacious and ready for anything, but in last two years or so no one saw what inwardly was happening to me: bouts of depression, apathy, stunted growth, and a lack of desire all upon me. I felt like a potted plant neglected by it's keeper. And yet God was so gracious and kind, and contrary to my lack there of,  He filled me with joy. Continually! And moments when that ugly cloud came over me, He'd bring to remembrance scriptures that comforted me. Not once did God leave me alone, or forsake me. The Holy Spirit kept His promise to be my helper. 

May of this year God spoke loudly and clear to me words that were precisely what I had been desiring to hear from Him: I will revive you. In the past few months I have sensed the hand of God doing just that. 

I've been reading A Path of Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot, and she references plants a lot. A growing plant cannot remain in a pot for various reasons: it will create a growth stunt,a complacency of some sort, it will cripple, it will wither, and it will die. A plant needs room for it's roots to spread and it needs pruning. He has taken me, a potted plant, and planted me in His field where I can return to a flourishing condition. 

New vitality. 
God is doing really exciting things in my life right now. And there is no where else I'd rather be. 

You Revive Me, Christy Knockles


If you find yourself in a loss of vitality, vigor, or strength these following verses will help recharge you. Or it could be that you can relate more to that of a stunted growth in your walk with God, these verses are a great prayer guide to get you flourishing again. And if you have that dreadful cloud of depression over you and feel inoperative, these verses will be a great source of encouragement, comfort, and of hope for you. What ever your season may be, God is with you and He will revive you! May your deserts be rivers of joy.

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.Psalm 71:20 

Will you not revive us again, 
that your people may rejoice in you? 
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord
and grant us your salvation. 
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, 
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; 
but let them not turn back to folly. 
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, 
that glory may dwell in our land. Psalm 86:6-9

My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Psalm 119:25

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Psalm 119:37

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. Psalm 119:88

I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.Psalm 119:107

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. Psalm 119:50 

I rise early, before the sun is up; 
I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. 
I stay awake through the night, 
thinking about your promise. 
In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; 
let me be revived by following your regulations. Psalm 119:147-149

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

shadow of his wings


Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 63:7


As meditated this morning on one of my favorite Psalms, this one verse stopped me in my tracks. How beautiful is this imagery of singing in the shadow of God's wings? Not from a mountain top, a valley, or a waterfront, but safely in the shadow of His very wings. You can't be far and be in His shadow. It can only happen in His presence. You must be near to share this intimacy. I long for the closeness David experienced with God. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:10

What's more beautiful than David singing in the shadow of God's wings? You and I drawing closer to God and experiencing the same. Let's purpose to draw near to Him. And as we sing in this most glorious place, though in the wilderness for some, we will find fullness of joy. 


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