Wednesday, April 30, 2014

she doesn't have it all figured out...


She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lyrical Friday - Forever

Good Friday to You!
As Christians, we dare not only celebrate the joy Easter is, but we celebrate the darkness of crucifiction. We celebrate that Christ endured humiliation, He endured stripes on His back by whips, He endured the gruesome cross, He endured the a confined and lonely grave, He endured the totality of death. We celebrate the gift of sacrifice. We celebrate true, undefiled, and, perfect love. We celebrate redemption. We celebrate freedom. We celebrate victory. We celebrate life. We celebrate a future and a hope. We celebrate joy. We celebrate laughter. We celebrate mercy. We celebrate grace.

In our celebration, we magnify He who is wholly and only worthy of all glory, all honor, all praise Jesus! Jesus Forever!

Forever by Kari Jobe is absolutely beautiful. And as a special treat, spoken word by Isaac Wimberley is icing on this cake. May your heart be moved to gratitude, surrender, and praise. God bless You Friend.

Forever, Kari Jobe

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse was broken
One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken
The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated
Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive
We sing Hallelujah x 3 The Lamb has overcome

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.
Matthew 28:1-10

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sentence Tuesday


And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14

Monday, April 14, 2014

Create in Me a clean heart

Rend Collective is currently one of my favorite bands. I was very pleased to see that they wrote YouVersion reading plan. Below I am sharing a portion from Rend Collective's The Art Of Celebration plan that goes hand in hand with their recently released album by the same name. 

We love quick results don't we? We are constantly fine-tuning every aspect of our lives to eliminate that despicable enemy known as "waiting."
So when we first meet Jesus, hopes are high. This is the God who crafted everything, from elephants to supernovas, cilantro to Everest in just seven days: surely he's going to transform us in an instant... like Ramen noodles of righteousness.
He could, but he often chooses not to.
He turned Paul's life around while on the Damascus road, right? Sure, but that was just the beginning. The refining process was still going on in that jail cell in Acts.
He gave the shepherd kid, David, mastery over a giant. But years later, as a man he failed to master his lust problem, giving in to adultery and worse, a murderous cover-up.
It's in the middle of this mess that he wrote Psalm 51.
"Create in me a clean heart"
I'm sure he was desperate for an immediate transformation of character. But that isn't what he got. The Lord is patient. David's heart was renewed by traveling the painful, winding roads of confession, accountability and repentance, in the company of the Holy Spirit. The Lord didn't shortcut the work of cleansing David's heart.
We may be frustrated with patterns of sin that repeat in our lives, our niggling character flaws and lack of discipline. We may want "one-click" holiness. But Jesus doesn't wave a magic wand of saintly character over us.
We can change. He will change us.

 (For those unfamiliar with YouVersion, it's a Bible app with helpful tools such as word search, bible reading plans, and devotionals.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Prank It Forward

Happy Tuesday to You!

How awesome was that?
Love the concept of paying it forward. You and I can change the course of someone's day. So whether coffee, lunch, or whatever it may be, make someone's day brighter by sharing God's love through action.  Let's pay something forward today.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lyrical Friday - Closer

photo credit 

Echoing in my heart is a beat to draw closer to God. It's a beat I want to hear and feel all the days of my life. His love has ravished my heart and taken me over. All I want is to be with Him forever, and often He's the only one I want to be with. My prayer is that He would pull me a little closer and take me a little deeper, that I may grow in knowledge of His heart. Closer by Bethel Live mirrors that desire.

These lyrics are romantic (without the man, hehe). God's love is so much sweeter than anything I've tasted, and it is great for me. I am captivated and utterly fascinated by His perfect love. He knows me, all of me, and loves me with a pure and unashamed love. Yes, Lord, pull me a little closer and take me a little deeper.

I know that this love can be scary, intimidating, and even foreign. And so I encourage you to step aside from fear, and pride. Let it all go and allow God to romance you. Allow Him to pull you a little closer. Allow Him to take you a little deeper. The reward is greater than the risk. You will taste a love that is sweeter than anything you've known, and will ever know. I pray that this beat may echo in your heart as well and spark a great love story. 

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.
Psalm 63:1-8 

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:8-10

Closer, Bethel Live

Your love has ravished my heart
And taken me over, taken me over
And all I want is to be
With You forever, with You forever

So pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart
Cause Your love is so much sweeter
Than anything I've tasted
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart

Whoa, whoa, how great Your love is for me
Whoa, whoa, how great is Your love

Pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart
Cause Your love is so much stronger
Than anything I've faced and
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How To: GROW

photo credit 
Happy Thursday! 

There's a theme that has been resonating in my heart. And that is the message of a better you, a better me. Last week I was reminded (as if we needed to be reminded) that the deeper we grow in the Word the more we are forced to change. And this change can be a natural byproduct of the Word, or it can come about through our refusal, our surrender, our obedience, our stand. What we can't lose sight of is that this change is not to make us better Christians. The goal has never been to be better Christians. The goal is to look more like Jesus, in word and deed. 

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Spending time with God will cause us to grow. And with growth comes growing pains. It just ain't easy to grow. There is nothing we can do to help God, other than to daily surrender. OR you may stunt your growth, prolonging your growing pains. I don't intend on painting a picture that our walk with God is to be painful and gruesome. But reality is that sin is painful, it is gruesome, "ratched", evil, and so much a part of us that detaching from it will be (at times) literally a death to self. 

Maybe you don't need to be reminded of this, but I do. Because I forget that in daily surrender, daily pursuit, and daily encounters with my God I grow. I grow in the knowledge of His worthiness and how unholy I am. 
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Isaiah 6:1-5
Oh wretched woman that I am. After considering this portion of Isaiah, I sat in silence and asked myself about my sin. I don't blatantly sin or curse God. I don't fornicate or self harm in other ways. I don't partake in illegal activities. I could check off my card and walk away feeling self righteous, but I got a glimpse of God's holiness and my lack there of. What does my sin look like? Laziness, Pride, Self Righteousness, Procrastination:
Laziness to read God's Word.
I know what it says, I could go without reading today.
I'll just take a look a YouVersion. as if it were a catalog 
Tonight I'll do.
Tomorrow I'll do.

I'm keeping it real. If we aren't in God's Word daily, how will we grow? How will be effective Christians?
I encourage you, as I am being encouraged, to open your Bibles daily and grow. Position yourself. Set a time. And do. As we have daily encounters with God, we will be radically and beautifully transformed into the image of Christ. That's the goal! And what I believe the only real way to be a better you, a better me. 

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:5-8

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