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A Line In The Sand/An Open (anonymous) Letter

 

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
– Psalms 34:18

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
– Psalms 147:3

“…My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9

God is “close to the brokenhearted”… That is a promise. “It’s not a feeling, it is a fact,” as a friend of mine put it.

How does one exercise faith? Having faith in God means believing that He is who He is, and that He has done what He has done. But what about when having faith means letting go and trusting God? I know, from both experience as well as observation that this step can often seem more difficult than initially accepting God to begin with.

In my experience, it has been similar to a line in the sand; On one side, I have my faith in God in the sense of saying, “I believe.” On the other side of the line is my faith on a whole different level where suddenly that line becomes a canyon. It requires so much more of me. It requires–well–a leap of faith. I have to not only work up the courage to know that I am making the right choice and know that when I land, God will be there to catch me, whether is be at the bottom of the canyon or at the other side of the line… I also have to be able to deny myself and my wants and my earthly needs, which can be a completely separate task in itself. But what did Jesus tell us? In Mark 8:34, he said…Line

“If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”

The thing that often prevents us from doing that very thing is fear. Often that fear is that things won’t turn out the way that we want or “need” them to turn out. But…

“…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7

That line in the sand can be complicated, and once you make that jump, odds are that you will land with another just ahead of you.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33

When facing another line in the sand, I am always reminded of the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9 (above) and 10

“That is why I take pleasure in my weakness, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Building Blocks for Life, Life in General

 

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Music Speaks: Strong Enough

Strong Enough
by
Matthew West

You must, You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through.
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

Well maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out

Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong 
when I am weak.

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

I feel that little needs to be said in addition to this song. This is very exemplary of where my heart is at right now; crying out for God to be my strength when so much has gone so wrong.

“Maybe that’s the point, to reach the point of giving up. Cause when I’m finally at rock bottom, that’s when I start looking up.” A less eloquent version of this line has been running through my head all week, as I’ve known that I am not alone in all of the troubles I’ve been dealing with. Giving up was certainly a first thought, yet it was immediately followed by appreciation for the need to rest on God.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
– 2 Corinthians 2:10

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Music Speaks

 

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Celebration: For a Friend & For the Father

So there’s this girl. She is intelligent, funny, beautiful, dedicated, and most importantly, she is godly. In fact, I can confidently say that she is by far one of the most godly women I’ve ever met. Oh and she’s only twenty-three-years-old.

I met her somewhere around six years ago, and even then, I had never met anyone so die-hard devoted to the Lord. She was immediately an amazing inspiration to me—even at a time when I was far too stubborn to accept it as a fact—and I have since admired her strength. As any follower knows, it isn’t easy to follow God in today’s world, but it’s especially difficult being a teenager in the society in which we live.

This girl, however, has persevered through difficult times, always knowing that God was and is her strength, and now He is rewarding her with an amazing opportunity to “go into the world” and share His word. She and the ministry which she is a part of, will be travelling to Romania this upcoming April! They will be going to the Republic of Moldova to disciple to the people, and to plant churches and bring the people into Gods loving arms.

This is such a wonderful mission and I am so excited for my friend to be a part of it, and to see the many ways in which God is and has been using her throughout the entire time that I’ve known her.

Aside from sharing my excitement for my friend, I also wanted to spread the word about this upcoming missionary trip, and to ask for prayers, not only for the people who will be going, but also for the people to receive them and the Good News which they’re carrying along with them.

You can find more information about this Ministry, this mission, and how to support them by visiting their website at www.realtruthmatters.com and by visiting their blog.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Life in General

 

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Music Speaks: Where I Belong

Where I Belong
Building 429

“Sometimes it feels like I’m watching, from the outside.
Sometimes it feels like I’m breathing, But am I alive?
I won’t keep searching for answers that aren’t here to find.

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I’m lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

When the earth shakes
I wanna be found in You.
When the lights dim
I wanna be found in You.

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong.”

I came across this beautiful song a few months ago and while I generally skip through the songs on my iPod at a rapid rate, this is one that I can never skip. Each time I listen to it, I am compelled to sing along, and each time I sing to the Lord “this is not where I belong, take this world and give me Jesus” I experience chills and just an aching in my core. It has taken me some time to find a way to express just what that feeling in my gut is but tonight I finally figured it out. It finally hit me that this is my spirit groaning to be home with my Father. I love this simple yet imperative actuality that this world may be where my body resides, but it certainly is not my home. I do not belong here.

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
– John 15:19

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Music Speaks

 

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Your Own Understanding

We have been having a hectic week in our family this past week. Along with Christmas, and visiting relatives from South Carolina and Connecticut, we have also decided to get our three-year old a new puppy, so there has been training going on for both of them. In addition to these things, there have been some more serious issues in the family such as a mother-in-law with bronchitis, and a nephew born one month premature, who is nearly one month old presently, and is currently being hospitalized after he repeatedly quit breathing and has had to have a spinal tap and other tests run.
I’ve also been attempting to help care from some other children who have a relatively rough life due to choices that were made that were beyond their control and the tension has been adding up.
During my time spent with God last night, I couldn’t help but question what I was supposed to be doing with all of this. It was an evening filled with questions, and contemplation and concern, and even a few tears.

I knew immediately that God was the only One who could help me find the answers that I needed to my questions, as well as the peace to calm my heart and mind.

The answer that I received was not the answer that I was looking for, but it was certainly the right answer.
As difficult as it can be to accept, sometimes there is just nothing that we can do when things seem to be going wrong. Sometimes there are no actions that we can take that will instantly solve everything for everyone. In fact, I’ve found that to be the case more often than not. That doesn’t mean that we should give up. That never helps either. So what can we do?

Take it to God. He is the One who is in control. He is the One who can change or “fix” what is going on. Again, even if we don’t get the result that we are hoping for, we can feel confident in knowing that whatever happens, will happen according to the divine Will of God. I have received some of the most amazing strength and guidance and courage through simply talking with God in times of trouble.  As I knew only He could, the Lord calmed my mind and heart. He took away my temporary inability to function under the weight of everything going on, and He reminded me that He has it under control.

Sometimes we don’t really “need” answers, but sometimes we just need to be willing to talk with the One who rules over everything. We don’t always need to understand, we just need to accept things.th

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”
Proverbs 3:5

As a child, my grandfather always told me, “Whether you like it or not, there is a solution to every problem.” It doesn’t matter if you like the solution or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s the solution that you want, but there is a solution to everything, and I was reminded of just that last night.
All of the things going on in our lives that seems wrong and “unfair” may seem that way to us, but it’s not for us to question. It’s not going to change the outcome of things because we put in a good word in our daily prayers. God will do what it right, because Only He knows what that truly is.
That has been a hard lesson for me to learn, but it is definitely one worth learning.

 

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Life in General

 

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Disappeared?

Clearly it has been a while since I’ve been keeping up with my regular blogging. My family has been in the process of moving and getting acclimated in a new home and new circumstances.

As always, there have been a number of personal trials and triumphs that I’ve been unable to share, but what I can say is that the Lord is never-failing. I’ve been able to keep up with my thoughts and Bible studies in various journals while I’ve been “away” from internet access.

One of the areas of my main focus has been working with God about an inability that I have to “forgive and forget” in certain circumstances. I would like to say that I don’t really have a problem with forgiving, but that it’s only the forgetting part that I get stuck on, but essentially, the two are inseparable in many ways. The bitterness that arises when replaying situations over in my mind is the number one tell-tale sign that I haven’t truly forgiven people from my past.

A couple of years ago, my husband was dealing with a demon from his past, and he repeatedly struggled to explain to me that he wanted to forgive the person who had hurt him, but he just didn’t “know how.” At the time, the idea of not knowing how to forgive seemed unfathomable to me. “It’s easy, you just do it”, is what I would tell him.
Now as I am facing that same giant, it’s not quite that easy. How do you truly forgive somebody when you can’t shake the feelings of bitterness about something that they have done in the past?
While I’ve found that it isn’t exactly a quick-fix, I have found that there is one somewhat simple thought that helps to pull it all into perspective.

God doesn’t remember all of the times that you’ve hurt Him in order to use it against you later.

That’s not what forgiveness is.
I had never really thought about it, but for most of my life I have carried around a list of people who I had subconsciously labeled as “unforgivable.” It suddenly occurred to me that if God carried around a list like that, we would all be in serious trouble. Do you think that God has a list of people who have just messed up one time too many? No. He doesn’t give up on us. Why should I or anybody else give up on another person. God doesn’t hold each persons mistakes against them, so what right do I have to do so? Absolutely none.

I’d been praying about this and spending so much time with God about this issue, and thought I hadn’t been seeing any results, I certainly wasn’t adding God to my short list. My perseverance paid off (as it always does with God), and suddenly I saw a change in the last place that I had expected it.

Years ago, as a teenager, I had a falling out with a friend. Our lives were very different, our families were very different and it just wasn’t the season for that relationship to blossom. I certainly was not innocent in the desolation of things, but for years I had harbored a bitterness for the way that things had happened.
Concerning the most recent contingency of that family, I had certainly not acted as the godly creature that I strive to be. In fact, I walked out of a worship service because I refused to subsist in the same building with one certain person for an hour. How childish. I can be certain that God was not pleased with my actions or my heart that particular evening.
Since that had all occurred, God has shown me many of my mistakes regarding each aspect of the situation, and I have been able to make things right. In fact, I am now in contact with that friend again, and am very happy to see some of what God has been doing in her life over the years.
This was, as I said, the last place that I would’ve looked for the changes that I had been praying for, but it was in this unexpected instance that God showed me how my heart had been changed, and in turn how my life has changed.

I can’t say yet that my list is gone, and while I’d like to defend myself by saying “hey, at least it’s a short list”, I know that wouldn’t be a sufficient answer were I standing in front of the Lord.
It keeps me reminded of the “imperfect progress” that Lysa TerKeurst talks about in her latest book, Unglued. I am far from perfect, and I will remain that way, but it is a great feeling when God is working inside of me or anybody else.

Praise God for His unending Goodness.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Life in General

 

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For He Is Worthy

As I sit here “alone” for the first time in weeks, reading my new Lysa TerKeurst book, I find my mind roaming wildly. I’m trying to learn about God, but right now my mind is stuck. Stuck on thanksgiving. Not the rapidly approaching November holiday, but the thanksgiving that occurs daily from the acknowledgement of all of the blessings that God has rained down on such an undeserving sinner.

I’m thinking of so many worldly situations that have been consuming me recently. I’m thinking about the way my worldly circumstances have interrupted what I would consider to be a two-month-long conversation with my Saviour. After getting my priorities back in order, I’m thinking of how this quiet time “alone” with God truly feels like I am getting back to being myself. “Myself” isn’t me, or simply something that I enjoy doing. “Myself” is a child passionately worshipping a God who created me for just this purpose. I’m thinking of how beautiful it is to be able to return into the loving arms of my Father, regardless of the mistakes I’ve made or how my focus may have temporarily shifted.

Suddenly all of these all-consuming worldly circumstances have simply faded into the background of my life and shine through, not as “problems” that I have been “dealing with”, but as the blessings that my Father has shown me.
My only real problem all this time has been that I allowed for my focus to stray from the One who deserves and is fully worthy of receiving such attention.

My mind is overflowing with love and gratitude toward the One who loves me like no other.
Rather than trying to focus on my reading, I am choosing to focus on my Lord! I am basking in the time and the opportunity to just thank Him, and to love Him, and glorify Him.
For He is worthy!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Building Blocks for Life

 

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