Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Joy of Giving

All the peoples will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you did
n’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit 
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
-Matthew 25:32-46

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Lover of Ashes

Behold, I will allure her, will bring her into t
he the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of hope. She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. Hosea 2:14-15 
Do not look upon me because I am dark— the sun has darkened my skin. My brother’s were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept. Song of Solomon 1:6 
You are altogether beautiful, my love, and there is no spot in you. Song of Solomon 4:7 
Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through Christ. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault. Colossians 1:22 
There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

God has called you His own, His prized possession, the apple of His eye, His beloved. He loves you, all of You! And though you may think you are not worth it, God says you are. Though you may see yourself as junk, a pile of useless ashes, God sees you in His glorious splendor. He is a lover of ashes and can make all things new! Ask God to help you see yourself not through the lenses of this world, but through the lenses of Heaven.

Lover of Ashes, JJ Heller

Simple voice talk to me in simple words
Gentle wind come sing to me the songs that I know
Come to me and hold my heart inside of me
Come and see
Come and see in me

Oh lover of ashes
Be patient with me
My filthy complexion is all that I see
But up from these ashes a beauty will rise
The pride of her father
Though humble in size

Perfect love
Fill my soul with melody
Perfect words of perfect peace
I will breathe, I will sing
I will breathe, I will sing

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


If only you would prepare your heart
      and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
Get rid of your sins,
      and leave all iniquity behind you.
Then your face will brighten with innocence.
      You will be strong and free of fear.
You will forget your misery;
      it will be like water flowing away.
Your life will be brighter than the noonday.
      Even darkness will be as bright as morning.
Having hope will give you courage.
      You will be protected and will rest in safety.
You will lie down unafraid,
      and many will look to you for help.

Job 11:13-19

Restoration happens when you devote your heart to God; surrender to Him; and leave all iniquity behind, not by remorse, but by quitting the sin. It is then that you begin to experience the joy, peace and rest found in Him everyday! 
Keep short accounts with God.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sentence tuesday

As sure as God puts His children in the furnace He will be in the furnace with them.
-Charles Spurgeon

Monday, August 22, 2011

how could God ask that?

Happy Monday! I was going to blog on being still when my friend Chris sent me this email. I was blown away by it and how timely it was. Enjoy and may you find rest and hope in Christ today and always.

How could God ask that?
by Nancy Guthrie

In our Sunday school class circle we were discussing Genesis 22, the account of God coming to Abraham and telling him to take his beloved son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice. “I have always struggled with this story,” one man in the class said. “I just can’t understand how God could ask Abraham to do that. It just seems so cruel.” 

Many of us have struggled to understand what seems like an outrageous request. And it is not only this command to Abraham that confounds us. We also read about Jacob’s wrestling in the dark with God throughout the night until finally God wrenched his hip, leaving him with a limp, and we wonder why God would do that. We read about God telling Hosea to marry a prostitute, to have children with her, and eventually to buy her back from the slave market even though she is already his, and we think we can hear Hosea’s heart breaking. We read about God telling Jonah to go to Nineveh to call Israel’s enemies to repentance, and when we get the full picture that these are the Assyrians who have slaughtered Jonah’s fellow Israelites and hauled them off to concentration camps, we think this is simply too much to ask of any man.
We are a bit offended on their behalf. How could God ask this of them?
And we’re also a bit afraid. Might God ask something like this of me?

Outrage to Adoration

Perhaps we’re meant to feel a bit appalled. Perhaps it is not until we feel a sense of outrage over these seemingly unfair requests that we can be prepared to feel an appropriate sense of wonder when we begin to see what we’re meant to see in these difficult-to-swallow scenarios. When we begin to see what God intends for us to see, our outrage gives way to adoration, consternation gives way to worship, and horror melts into humility before a God who, rather than asking the unthinkable of us, has done the unimaginable for us.

Why would God ask Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice? Is God trying to teach us that we should be willing sacrifice what is most precious to us? No. This story is not recorded to inspire sacrifice to God. Instead, it paints in vivid colors the sacrifice of God. The point of this story is not to convince you that you must be willing to sacrifice to God what is most precious to you, but rather to prepare you to take in the magnitude of the gift when you see that God was willing to sacrifice what was most precious to him—his own beloved Son—for you.
When we read the story of Jacob and see him walking away with a limp, we’re not meant to assume that God intends for us to suffer this way if we want to experience his blessing. Jacob, who wrested in the dark to gain a blessing for himself, points us to One greater than Jacob who wrestled in the dark of Gethsemane and was crushed by death itself so that he might gain a blessing for us.
When we read the story of Hosea, we need not fear that God might call us to marry an unfaithful spouse just to make a point through our misery. Instead, we’re meant to see that Jesus will join himself to an unfaithful wife—you and me—and make us his pure bride. He will go to the slave market of sin and buy us back at the cost of his own blood.
And when we read the story of Jonah and see him sent to people he has every right to hate because of who they are and what they’ve done, we’re not meant to assume that God is going to require this of us, but rather that he will require it of himself. Jesus will leave heaven to go to a people who deserve to be treated with contempt because of who they are and what they’ve done, yet he will show them grace. He will not be sad when they repent, but will, instead, shed tears over their refusal to repent. 
If we read the Bible assuming that we are expected to follow in the footsteps of those who are featured in its pages, we will find ourselves always trying harder to sacrifice and obey but never measuring up. We’ll assume that God asks us to do things that will make us miserable just to put us through a test of our allegiance—diminishing, rather than magnifying God in our hearts. But when we read the Bible recognizing that it is not about what we must do for him, but about what he has done for us through Christ, rather than being offended by what we fear he may ask of us, we find rest in what he has done for us.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14

You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lyrical Friday - God is Able

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

One thing in this world will forever be certain: tribulations. What great hope have those, have we, who believe in Jesus. There is a guarantee of peace that will continually be available. No more fear. No more doubt. No more cowardliness in the face of tribulations. Be of good cheer for God is able- He has overcome the world. 

Sickness? He is able, He has overcome
Brokenness? He is able, He has overcome
Jobless? He is able, He has overcome
Lonely? He is able, He has overcome 
Rejected? He is able, He has overcome
You fill in the blank with the name of your tribulation ________. He is able, He has overcome! 

Proverbs 31:25 is a verse that has prepared me mentally for times of tribulation: She laughs without fear of the future. Now that is the woman I desire to be; who can face tribulation and laugh (be of good cheer)  knowing full well who holds me in the midst of trying times and holds my future all at once. Trust produces peace, peace produces confidence. May today's Lyrical post cause you to believe that God is able to do the seemingly impossible and unimaginable on your behalf! Go ahead, be of good cheer and laugh with out of fear of the future.

God is Able, Joel Houston 

God is able
He will never fail
He is almighty God
Greater than all we seek
Greater than all we ask
He has done great things

Lifted up
He defeated the grave
Raised to life
Our God is able
In His name
We overcome
For the Lord
Our God is able

God is with us
God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know
Far above all we hope
He has done great things
God is with us
He will go before
He will never leave us
He will never leave us
God is for us
He has open arms
He will never fail us
He will never fail us

For the Lord
Our God is able
For the Lord
Our God is able

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

seek encouragement

Table for two.
Coffee for two.
Movie for two.
Vacation for two.
Misery for one.

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior.  Psalm 42:5

Are you are in the dumps, feeling blue, discouraged, depressed, oppressed, exhausted? Are you upset with life, with people, with God? I want to encourage you today to seek encouragement.

Seek encouragement in God's Word. (start here: Psalm 107)
Seek encouragement in prayer. (simply talking to God)
Seek encouragement in praise. (read this: Praise won the battle)
Seek encouragement in God's people. (email me. Don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out.)

The thought is full of comfort that He who has established the boundary lines ofour lives has also determined the boundaries of our tribulation. -Allistair Begg

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

sentence tuesday

It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. 
-Ruth Bell Graham 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Rhythms of Grace

Hi Friends and happy Friday.
This will be a rather quick post. I am not feeling well and ask that you pray for me. May the Lord move your heart to worship as you bask in His awesome grace. Praying that God blesses you abundantly!

Rhythms of Grace, Hillsong United

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

speak encouragement

Anxiety in the heart causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Therefore please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement. 2 Chronicles 18:12

I want to challenge you today to speak encouragement. Enough with the lecturing, pointing a finger and rubbing it in that you were right- speak encouragement.

Tell someone how blessed you are to know them.
Thank someone today for being who they are in your life.
Compliment someone on their smile.
Commend someone on the great job they are doing.
Tell your family and friends that you love them.
Speak Encouragement.
Speak a kind word.
Speak thankfulness.
Speak in love, in mercy, in grace.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

sentence tuesday

Too often our love and affection for Christ is paled by the world's love and affection for anything else. 
-Bob Coy

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Like An Avalanche

Hi Friends!
I am not feeling to well today so my post will be short. I covet your prayers.

Youth Camp was nothing short of exciting, adventurous and amazing. Definitely one of the hardest camps we've experience but over flowing with the power of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. Every year there is a song that unofficially becomes the camp song/theme. This year, Like An Avalanche by Hillsong United was that song. I pray that as you listen to the lyrics, that you would be humbled and surrender all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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