Thursday, October 29, 2009

It Is CHRIST Who Strengthens Me

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13. NKJV.)

It was not until a Florida Gators game that this scripture came to my attention. Quarterback Timmy Tebow wears scripture on his Eye Black (Black Out) and one game it was Philippians 4:13. GO GATORS! And how true is this piece of God’s word?

I have been told a few times (and I am only repeating this to point to the truth of the matter), “You are such a strong person.” When in reality I am actually a very weak, broken individual. It is Christ who is my rock and gives the illusion it is I who am tough. I have been greatly humbled (especially after receiving God’s grace). I have learned what worldly possessions and “rights” I can realistically live without. God provides and all things are His servants (Psalm 119:91). Each day I rise and study His word. Like a flower in a field who depends on the rain and sunshine I look to my King for the things I “need” (rather than “want”) to survive. And he provides…orchestrating everything in my life for His glory and my good (Romans 8:28)! He paves the way and directs my steps (Proverbs 16:9). He convicts me to obey His will for my life and not depend on man (Psalm 118:8). He places specific people in my life (and their guidance) in His perfect timing.

Some days I just wait (Psalm 46:10).

My purpose in life is not to change the world. Nor is it to become rich and famous. Rather it is to glorify God as is the reason of all of His creation. Everything is proof of His existence. “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20. ESV.) I do not just want to please my King, I want to bring Him glory!

The days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-17). I sit at the foot of the throne communing with my King and consulting him on the matters of my vapor (James 4:13-15) of a life…how I should walk, what I should say, and the manner in which I should train up His little lambs.

I am truly nobody without the Lord. I understand and echo David’s pleas when he said, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11. ESV.) I wish I could show you my heart! I feel the flesh distracts and takes away from what my heart truly looks like. My cup overflows (Psalm 23:5) for the Lord is my portion, my cup, and holds my lot (Psalm 16:5). “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26. ESV.)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14. ESV.)

Lost And Found

Lost And Found
(Daily Bread)

Those who have been found should seek the lost.

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell?

How Willingly Do People Go to Hell?
(John Piper)

Pyromaniacs: Book review: Death by Love, by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

Pyromaniacs: Book review: <i>Death by Love</i>, by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

Cry of the Orphan

Cry of the Orphan: Orphan Sunday
Focus on the Family re: Orphan Sunday

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns



Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

Series on Prayer

It looks like "The Resurgence" is doing a series on prayer.

8 Keys to Personal Prayer

Personal Prayer: Before You Pray

Do You Pray?

Do You Pray?

(Shepherd's Fellowship: Pulpit Magazine)

Child Survival 101



In 12 days Molly Piper will be heading to El Salvador as a blogger for Compassion International. This has sparked great interest in me as to what Compassion is exactly and how God's work is being done through Compassion. I am looking forward to Molly Piper's posts and learning more!!!

Child Survival 101

Where do you stand on the Calvinism and Arminianism debate, and what resources do you recommend?

Where do you stand on the Calvinism and Arminianism debate, and what resources do you recommend?

(Randy Alcorn)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Philemon: The power of prayer and persuasion

Philemon: The power of prayer and persuasion

Precious Fellowship

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! (Psalm 119:10. ESV.)


My ABSOLUTE favorite thing to do is fellowship and talk about God and His Son whether I am speaking to a family member, friend, or stranger. Discussing God and His word is just so dear!!!
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24. ESV.)

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6:5-7. ESV.)


And when you love something so much, you talk about it often, right? Well, I know I do. I am a HUGE advocate for the things of my heart. Further, I suppose I feel closer to my King and His Son when I speak of them.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7-8a. ESV.)


Just recently I had the pleasure of fellowshipping with my daddy. The man to whom I have looked up; the one who protected me until he gave me over to my husband to pick up where he left off; the person who showed me what it means to be a provider, a devoted husband and father, and a missionary. My love for God and Jesus became that much sweeter with each word spoken between us. My heart felt such deep love as we talked of the Holy Spirit and receiving God’s grace. Why we do good works and what offends the Holy Spirit. As each minute ticked passed I received a tiny (yet satisfying) taste of the sweetness of Heaven.

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5. ESV.)

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10. ESV.)


I look forward to each and every opportunity to participate in discussions of God’s character, my wretched sin, His wrath, His precious Son, His grace, and the Holy Spirit. For in these discussions I find great joy.

“I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

TobyMac "City On Our Knees"

My son LOVES this song!
TobyMac "City On Our Knees"

One of the Most Important Principles in Reading the Bible

One of the Most Important Principles in Reading the Bible

From the pen of the persecuted: God’s perspective versus ours

From the pen of the persecuted: God’s perspective versus ours

“I do not recognize the empire of this world, but rather I serve that God, ‘whom no man has seen or can see!’” The Six Martyrs from Scillium – 180 A.D

“I do not recognize the empire of this world, but rather I serve that God, ‘whom no man has seen or can see!’” The Six Martyrs from Scillium – 180 A.D.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Longing for Normalcy

(Quick note so hopefully there is no misunderstanding: What I mean by "normalcy" is the average for my life without the additional (overwhelming) stress that is brought about specifically from the tribulation God has allowed/ordained for my life. Everyone's "normal" (of course) is different.)

Some days I cannot help but wonder how my life would be without the heartbreaking tribulation I currently face. Everyone faces trials (whether it is physical illness, a sick child, strife, persecution, abuse, depression, alcoholism, drugs, sexual temptation, death, financial hardship, loss, etc.). I know this and I most certainly do not feel myself above suffering, saddness, and/or reproof from the Lord. I am a wretched, ugly sinner. And only Christ was blameless and did not deserve pain and the Father's wrath (which He endured for me). So I have to preach to myself that though for this season I feel the bitter sting of adversity it is for my sovereign King's glory and my good!

I find myself in good company with Job (but sinning just the same). Job and I both made a MASSIVE error when struck by distress. I uttered four terrible words (even as recently as three or four weeks ago). They were, "God is against me." And when I look to the book of Job I find God had quite the rebuke for Job...and for me as well! I see my reflection in Job 7: "My Life Has No Hope", Jobe 10: "A Plea to God", "Job 12: "The Lord Has Done This", Job 13: "Still I Will Hope in God", Job 17: "Where Then is My Hope?", Job 19: "My Redeemer Lives", Job 23 & 24: "Where is God?", Job 26: "God's Majesty is Unsearchable", Job 27: "I Will Maintain My Integrity", Job 28: "Where is Wisdom?", Job 29 & 30: "Job's Summary Defense", and Job 31: "Job's Final Appeal".

Elihu scolds Job (and me) saying,
"Do you say, 'It is my right before God,'" (Job 35:2. ESV.) Elihu...burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. (Job 32:2. ESV.)


And, the Lord answers Job (and me) in Job 38-41 (which is too long to post here in its entirety so I'll only post my favorite points:

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

"Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?

"Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.

16"Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.

19"Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!

34"Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
35Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, 'Here we are'?
36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
37Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?

39:19"Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic(snorting is terrifying.
21He paws in the valley and exults in his strength;
he goes out to meet the weapons.
22He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
he does not turn back from the sword.
23Upon him rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25When the trumpet sounds, he says 'Aha!'
He smells the battle from afar,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

40:1 And the LORD said to Job:
2"Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it."(Job 38:4-21, 34-38, 39:19-25, & 40:1-2. ESV.)


I echo Job in saying,
3Then Job answered the LORD and said:
4"Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
5I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further."

42:1Then Job answered the LORD and said:
2"I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?'Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4'Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.'
5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 40:3-5 and 42:1-6. ESV.)


And I am hopeful my story will end like that of Job!!!

10And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before…. 12And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.

When the Darkness Will Not Lift

WHEN THE DARKNESS WILL NOT LIFT: DOING WHAT WE CAN WHILE WE WAIT FOR GOD - AND JOY by John Piper.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pyromaniacs: Be Bold

Pyromaniacs: Be Bold

Improv Everywhere: Funny

I saw this on The Pipers' blog.

After watching this my kids were singing "Can we get a napkin please?"

Why We Love the Doctrines of Grace

Why We Love the Doctrines of Grace

Helping Your Spouse Grow Spiritually

Helping Your Spouse Grow Spiritually

Looking at Money From God's Perspective

(Focus on the Family)

While the Bible points out that money can be a snare for some people, wealth can be a good thing when it's used to help others and advance God's Kingdom.

One of the ways God is using the current worldwide financial challenge for good is that many are recognizing the benefits of having a simpler life and not becoming overly focused on earthly, material possessions.

As Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) says: "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

For helpful resources, encouraging articles and biblical guidelines for wise financial stewardship, visit our Money and Finances page at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recycled Post: May the Lord Judge Between Me and You

Do not say, "I will repay evil"; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22. ESV.)


Whenever I feel I have been sinned against I look to David and 1 Samuel. David was very loyal to Saul however Saul became jealous of David.

And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9And Saul eyed David from that day on. (1 Samuel 18:8 & 9. ESV.)


Saul then desired to harm David.

And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David evaded him twice.

Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. (1 Samuel 18: 11-16. ESV.)

And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David. 2And Jonathan told David, "Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. (1 Samuel 19: 1 & 2.)


David continued to stay loyal to Saul however Saul still wanted to murder David.

And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night. (1 Samuel 19:10.)


David ran and fled from place to place. He did not stick around and continuously place himself in harm’s way in the hands of Saul. David had faith in God and the Lord was with David. Above all, David knew God would take care of everything. Saul sought out David and David continued to elude him until the day Saul entered the cave in which David was hiding and did not even notice when David came up and “stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.” Yet David spared Saul’s life.

Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, 'I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.' 11See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. 12 May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. (1 Samuel 24:10-12.)

As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17He said to David, "You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Swear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house." 22And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold. (1 Samuel 24:16-22.)


A second time Saul was delivered into David’s hands yet David did not strike him down.

Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake." 22And David answered and said, "Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. 24Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation." 25Then Saul said to David, "Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them." So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place. (1 Samuel 26:21-26. ESV.)


David trusted in God and Saul was won over. David’s enemy was not conquered by David himself but by God. I too must trust in my King and Christ Jesus. I must wait upon them to deliver me from my enemies…those who sin against me.

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (Romans 12:17. ESV.)

“I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”

“I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

God I Trust You

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore also we speak; knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:7-18.)


God is convicting me this morning…big time! As I have the children working on school studies I scan over “My Blog List” to see what new (and exciting) things my fellow bloggers are writing about today. The first post I visited was entitled “It’s Comfy Though…” and included the Youtube video of Francis Chan’s “Balance Beam” analogy. (It’s quite good, by the way, if you have not viewed it yet.) Feeling rather guilty, from there I then went to another friend’s blog who posted “What I Learned from a Toilet” and was talking about how God is teaching her that putting things off is wrong. And between those two lessons is exactly where I sit today as I give my computer the evil eye for rebuking me.

You see, God has made a path very clear for me but I am hemming and hawing hoping God will change things because I #1 am stalling because I #2 do not want to let go of my (material) things (mainly) and my comfort in those tangible objects. But I know God’s ways are perfect and the outcome is going to be more amazing than I could ever imagine. And I’m not even that scared of the seemingly unknown anymore…(or so I think). It’s more of a…well…I’m a creature of habit. I do the same routine every morning and afternoon until about 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. And when things get out of order it frustrates me and sends me into a “panic” if you will (for lack of a better word). I have to stop myself and say, “It’s really not that big of a deal, you can make the change.”

There’s a song that has really touched my heart lately (and given me great encouragement) and in it there are two lines that say, “I am willing to go where You want me to. God I trust You.” The question in my mind is not, “What does God want me to do?” He has clearly given me direction. The issue I cannot seem to get past right now is, “How?” The devil, quite frankly, is in the details! Not to mention with the holidays up and coming the particulars are all the more devilish. So the bottom line here is (I think) I’m just going to have to close my eyes and jump…(after prayer, of course).

When seeking God regarding uncomfortable, frightening, or stressful situations Jon Bloom (for Desiring God Ministries) wrote the following which rings true in my heart,
“Now, there is not some law outside of God dictating to him what he must do. If something ‘must’ take place it is something he determines in the secret counsels of his own will….

“So how do we know we can trust God’s goodness when he decrees a horrible must, something beyond our ability to comprehend that might appear to us capricious or even evil? The best place to look is the cross.

“Anyone who has ever wrestled and even agonized over God’s musts has a sympathetic High Priest. Three times in Gethsemane Jesus pleaded with his Father, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will' (Matthew 26:39). Listen to the Son: Father, must these things take place? If they must, I will trust you.

“The Father had decreed a must. And in the intensity of the pain the Son pleads to be delivered from it. But the cross must be endured for all righteousness to be fulfilled and for the maximum glory of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be seen, as well as for the joy of the saints to be experienced. So the Son endures the Father’s must for the joy that was set before him—and all of us (Hebrews 12:2)….

“If you are tempted to wonder how any good could possibly redeem the evil you see in the musts that you endure or see in the world or see in the Bible, take a long, lingering look at the cross. There is glory there that will bring you the inexpressible joy you long for (1 Peter 1:8).” (By Jon Bloom. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org.)

Called to Suffer and Rejoice: For an Eternal Weight of Glory

Called to Suffer and Rejoice: For an Eternal Weight of Glory

How To Help Those Who Hurt

How To Help Those Who Hurt

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pray for Daisy Love

The following link is for a website for a little girl named Daisy. Daisy is battling cancer and has started Chemo and radiation. Please keep Daisy and her family in your prayers. I have also added Daisy's website to my sidebar under "My Blog List".

Pray for Daisy Love

I Will Follow You

Sometimes I feel God calls us to follow Him yet He does not quite say where. And a stepping out in faith is in order. No matter what the face of tribulation looks like (whether it is physical illness, a sick child, strife, persecution, abuse, depression, alcoholism, drugs, sexual temptation, death, financial hardship, loss, etc.) it causes us to rely solely on God and trust in His unfailing grace. It brings us to our knees, seeking Him for wisdom, strength, and endurance. Like an earthquake it sobers us to the reality it is not all about man but rather Him and He can move mountains while we are so utterly small, insignificant, and helpless. Trials, suffering, and heartache are all about God’s glory.

Yet I find myself toiling at times forgetting to do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31…Insert Seeds song here.) But this past week, I have to admit, I have been working REALLY hard at staying focused on Him…even to the point of staying silent, watching my tribulation closely, and intently obeying as God moves my heart though I feel I am walking in (almost complete) darkness. I follow as God places certain individuals in my life each step of the way and grants me wisdom as it is needed. Tribulation does not just go away and thankfully it does not have to be battled alone. A diagnosis and plan are only the BEGINNING and the body and church are there to help.

I also look to Job and the harsh conditions he suffered. Regarding Job John Piper reminds me,
“…there is good evidence from all over the world that the wicked often prosper and the righteous often suffer (21:29-30). And in his case in particular he was not an enemy of God and had not committed any grievous sin that would set him up for such suffering above others….

“…Elihu does not picture God as an angry judge but as a Redeemer, a Savior, a Rescuer, a Doctor. The pain he causes is like the surgeon's knife, not like the executioner's whip….

“…affliction makes a righteous person sensitive to his remaining sinfulness and helps him hate it and renounce it. Suffering opens the ear of the righteous (v. 10). The psalmist said the same thing in Psalm 119:71, "It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes." There are dimensions of godliness that the righteous can only learn through affliction….

“…Verses 13-14 describe one group of people for whom suffering results in nothing but destruction—they are the "godless in heart." But then (in v. 15) he describes another group whose ears are opened in their affliction and who experience deliverance by their affliction. These are not the godless or the wicked. They are the righteous. They are the people like Job, who are upright, and fear God, and turn away from evil, and have a blameless reputation. They suffer, too. But the divine purpose is not the same….

…The suffering has brought out the hidden sin of pride in Job. Now Job's ear has been opened to his remaining imperfection. Now he can repent and be cleansed and depend on God as he never had before. His suffering was not only an occasion for God to get glory over Satan (which we saw in chapters 1 and 2); it was also an occasion for God to deepen Job's insight and trust and godliness….

“…Suffering is not dispensed willy-nilly among the people of God. It is apportioned to us as individually designed, expert therapy by the loving hand of our great Physician. And its aim is that our faith might be refined, our holiness might be enlarged, our soul might be saved, and our God might be glorified.” (By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org.)


In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)


Our Father disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:10-11)


We were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)


Therefore, count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Anxiety Attacked

Anxiety Attacked

Amazing Grace in the Wreckage of Adultery

Amazing Grace in the Wreckage of Adultery

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Let the Waters Rise

Wow, some songs just summerize things so beautifully. I just heard this song on the radio today on my way home from church.



by Mikeschair

Don't know where to begin
It's like my world's caving in
And I tried but i can't control my fear
Where do I go from here

Sometimes it's so hard to pray
You feel so far away
I am willing to go where You want me to
God I trust You

[Chorus]
There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knee
So let the waters rise
If you want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

I will swim in the deep
Cuz You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea
You're never out of reach

God You know where I've been
You were there with me then
You were faithful before
You'll be faithful again
I'm holding Your hand

[Chorus]

God Your love is enough
You will pull me through
I'm holding on to You

God your love is enough
I will follow You
I will follow You

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Church

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. ESV.)


Last week I had to go to the church for biblical counsel. But before I talk about that I want to show how God has worked all things for His glory and my good up to this point...and I rejoice always in this!

In the summer of 2008 I was about to leave on a cross country road trip. But before I did one issue stood pending. What church was I going to call my “church home”? My former church had “split” in a sense. The pastor had stepped down, the elders were staying, he was leaving, and I felt convicted to leave as well but I could not follow my teacher as he was heading out of state. The question remained, “What now?”

Though my family and I had tried a number of churches in the surrounding area it was not until the Sunday before I was scheduled to leave on my road trip God moved me exactly where He wanted me. It was all in His perfect timing and though I had become frustrated with each church we tried that did not quite fit, God had it all sorted out (before the foundation of the world was created. And presently I found out how perfect of a match it truly is for me.)

I must say, I have learned so much in the last year about the church. Prior to this (from 2006-2008) I learned about the importance of the body and its function as God designed it…to come along side each other, encourage, rebuke, and act as iron sharpening iron. It is a truly beautiful thing (of which I did not wholly get a grasp in my childhood church).

The church is not only there for fellowship it is also there as an authority. Matthew 18:15-17 says,
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”


What a blessing to know there is godly counsel and authority (not just worldly authority) for me as I walk along my path with God and Christ Jesus. When I have been sinned against and going to the person myself has not helped matters, what a blessing to know I have the body and the church to help me.

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? (1 Corinthians 6:1-6. ESV.)

From the pen of the persecuted: Lying to impress

From the pen of the persecuted: Lying to impress

Meditations and Confessions of a Woman Found: Not left to survive alone

Meditations and Confessions of a Woman Found: Not left to survive alone

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not to Worry

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25. ESV.)


I sit hear staring at a nearly blank screen trying to figure out how to possibly put into words all that is going through my mind. Euphoria mixed with confusion. Pure joy that Jesus is Lord and He will neither leave me nor forsake me (Joshua 1:5) yet utter perplexity of what He has in mind and what the path looks like before me. I feel as though I am holding a tiny light in pitch darkness and can only see a very short distance in front of me. And yet I continue walking, hoping I do not stumble, in suspense of what lies before me, and prayerful (above all) God will be glorified! Carefully I progress not knowing what is behind each turn, what challenges I might face, and how I will respond to them. Thankfully I have the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17) with truth as a belt tight around my waist, righteousness as my breastplate, and as my shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. I carry faith as my shield, salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as my sword which the Spirit gives me.

I love Philippians 4:13 which says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Whether that is standing up against sin, trusting He will provide for tomorrow, or seeking Him in tribulation (i.e. strife, a sick child, physical illness, etc.). I do not know what my King has arranged. I sit at the foot of His throne consulting him. I trust in His sovereignty. I learn in His word of those who have walked with Him before me. And I sing His praises as loud as my voice will allow me. Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good!!!

...persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (Matthew 6:25. ESV.)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fire Engine Rides: A Worldy Pleasure



Just recently we had the pleasure of hitching a ride on the back of a fire truck (actually we were sitting on top of the hose). This is one worldly pleasure that never seems to get old for me.

Piper in Germany: "Feel Christ"

Piper in Germany: "Feel Christ"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Practical Theology for Women: What do I know of Holy?

Practical Theology for Women: What do I know of Holy?

When God Gives Lemons…

…I best be thankful for the stinkin’ lemons! I often struggle with my sin of discontentment (Philippians 4:11b). The sour things in life make my mouth pucker into a grimace of disapproval and displeasure. But Christ did not say, “Follow me and life will be a carnival!” Nope, he actually said quite the opposite! So why do I expect the thrill rides and squeal of laughter and pure exuberance? Because I am a foolish, wretched sinner to be sure!

Yesterday, two of the children in my home wanted pancakes however the box (of pancake mix) was nearly empty. I think there was perhaps 1/8 or 1/16 of a cup left…only enough to make one small pancake. Without the money to run down to the local store and buy more I had to bust out my “Good Housekeeping Cookbook” I had bought at the library for $0.50 and make the pancake batter from scratch. Flour, milk, one egg, sugar, baking powder, and salt…all of which I happened (and almost surprisingly) had lingering around the kitchen. Vola! Homemade pancakes to boot!

The point here is, I’m a “just add water” type gal so being Ms. Susie Homemaker in the kitchen is a stretch for me. But I’m thankful God is growing me. And who knows, it just might be an extra blessing for my family as well. So the meal took a little longer to make than I had expected. It happens, and I need to be thankful for ALL things not just the stuff I feel suits me best (Philippians 2:14)!

With the tribulation of the finances (which, to tell you the truth, has been going on for a while now and is at a critical point) it’s (beyond) time for me to stick to the needs and say goodbye to the wants of our household. If that means dinners of beanies and weenies (Kielbasa sausage and baked beans drizzled with honey), having to make my own laundry detergent using a handy dandy recipe I found on a website, and say farewell to the fancy stuff…well, so be it! I know I am more precious to my King than a simple flower and He will provide the means for all I (and my family) need (Hebrews 13:5). Not to worry! (Even if that means God sending in family members to give us a hand from time to time. Thanks you guys! I cannot express my gratitude enough for your servant’s heart and I sincerely apologize for my sin of unthankfulness (a.k.a. trying to talk you out of it)! Your very generous financial aid is truly a beautiful, unexpected blessing!)

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2. ESV.)

Make a Decision to Love: Educate yourself.

Make a Decision to Love: Educate yourself.

We Will Be Glorified for the Glory of God

We Will Be Glorified for the Glory of God

Growing Up God’s Way

Growing Up God’s Way

Are You Distracted?

Are You Distracted?

Wife Swap

Not that I am a fan of the television show, because I have only seen it perhaps twice, but sometimes I wonder with what sort of family they would place me in a “swap”. (Actually I do not even know if this show is still on the air or not.) I’m sure for drama purposes they would choose a family/wife/schedule the exact opposite of my own as I have seen them place city folk in country houses, conservatives in liberal households, and the cleanest of wives in the messiest of homes! Wives who rise early have been placed in a residence where they were told to sleep in late and the children got themselves ready and out the door to meet the bus for school. One wife who was used to playing video games all day was forced to do chores, make meals, and care for a family. Another woman whose top priority was training up her children was placed in a dwelling where nannies took care of the children while the wife shopped the day away and only spent one hour with the kids before bed each night.

I’m sure most/many wives have a schedule such as mine however sometimes (on the rare occasion) I am curious as to where I would end up! My day usually starts very early as my boxer typically gets the urge to use the restroom in the wee hours of the morning and wakes me to let him outside. Generally he only gets up once (maybe twice) but for the past two nights/ mornings he was up three times (once at 11:45 p.m., then between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m., and the last time after 3:00 a.m.). The youngest child in my household is habitually up for the day between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. School studies begin between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. We have bible study first (for half an hour) to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), second is math for an hour, then language skills/ language arts for an hour, third is phonics for one and spelling for the other (60 minutes), then literature and penmanship (60 minutes), followed by history or science, and finally Spanish or art. All in all studies take place from around 9:00 a.m. until about 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. (with 30 minutes or so for lunch...unless the older children need me to drop them off or pick them up at their school then this time is cut short by a couple hours).

Following school are extra curricular activities. The oldest child has piano on Wednesdays, I teach dance on Thursdays (from 3:00-5:00 p.m.), and Friday the youngest has bowling league. To end each day we return home for dinner then preparations for bedtime. Between doing studies with the children and getting them to their activities I design websites for clients and do chores (laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.) around the house. There are quite a few days however when the chores do not get finished but I do at least get my family fed most of the time. But as I mentioned before, I’m sure the average wife does the equivalent of this (and more) according to the season she is in, in her life so as not to eat the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27).

I am thankful for my busyness and what God has provided for my life. One day I am prayerful my family and I can go on missions together however right now I am addressing the mission field in my own home.

In quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15. ESV.)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

Why I Don’t Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies

(by John Piper)

...I’ll put it bluntly. The only nude female body a guy should ever lay his eyes on is his wife’s. The few exceptions include doctors, morticians, and fathers changing diapers. “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1). What the eyes see really matters. “Everyone who looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Better to gouge your eye than go to hell (verse 29).

Brothers, that is serious. Really serious. Jesus is violent about this. What we do with our eyes can damn us. One reason is that it is virtually impossible to transition from being entertained by nudity to an act of “beholding the glory of the Lord.” But this means the entire Christian life is threatened by the deadening effects of sexual titillation.

All Christ-exalting transformation comes from “beholding the glory of Christ.” “Beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Whatever dulls the eyes of our mind from seeing Christ powerfully and purely is destroying us. There is not one man in a thousand whose spiritual eyes are more readily moved by the beauty of Christ because he has just seen a bare breast with his buddies.

But leave sex aside (as if that were possible for fifteen minutes on TV). It’s the unremitting triviality that makes television so deadly. What we desperately need is help to enlarge our capacities to be moved by the immeasurable glories of Christ. Television takes us almost constantly in the opposite direction, lowering, shrinking, and deadening our capacities for worshiping Christ.

One more smaller concern with TV (besides its addictive tendencies, trivialization of life, and deadening effects): It takes time. I have so many things I want to accomplish in this one short life. Don’t waste your life is not a catchphrase for me; it’s a cliff I walk beside every day with trembling.

TV consumes more and more time for those who get used to watching it. You start to feel like it belongs. You wonder how you could get along without it. I am jealous for my evenings. There are so many things in life I want to accomplish. I simply could not do what I do if I watched television. So we have never had a TV in 40 years of marriage (except in Germany, to help learn the language). I don’t regret it.


© Desiring God

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Jesus, Name Above All Names

We used to sing this in youth group. What wonderful memories and what a beautiful song!

Holy is the Lord God Almighty by Chris Tomlin

Worth Dying For

Worth Dying For

Applying the Heat

Applying the Heat

Why We Must Preach

Why We Must Preach

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Pyromaniacs: Clowns and Hypocrites; Serpents and Vipers

Pyromaniacs: Clowns and Hypocrites; Serpents and Vipers

The Swamp of Despondence

"This muddy swamp is the kind of place that cannot be mended. It's the low place into which the scum and filth that accompanies the conviction of sin run continually. It is therefore called the Swamp of Despondence; for commonly as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition there will rise up in his soul many fears, doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all flow together and settle in this place. And that's the reason for the worthlessness of this ground." (The Pilgrim's Progress. Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2001. 13.)

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."(Isaiah 35:3-4. ESV.)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Challenging Mission Facts

(by Joshua Project)

• Of the 16,367 people groups by country, 6,645 are still considered unreached.

• 9,722 people groups by country are not considered Least-Reached, totaling 3,956,676,000 individuals, or about 59% of the world's population.

• Of the 16,367 total people groups, 6,645 are identified as Least-Reached using Joshua Project criteria, totaling 2,744,813,000 individuals. Of these 6,645 groups, 5,188 are in 10/40 Window countries. That means 78% of all unreached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.

• 1,457 of the Least-Reached groups are NOT in the 10/40 Window, totaling 350,803,000 individuals. These groups are relatively accessible to the Good News of the Gospel.

• Of the 6,645 Least-Reached people groups, about 3,462 (52%) are small groups under 10,000 in population (or population unknown) and all these groups total less than 8,000,000 individuals. Of the remaining 3,183 least-reached groups, about 1,292 are under 50,000 in population. That leaves 1,891 Least-Reached groups 50,000 and over in population. A vibrant church in a large group may take the gospel to a number of smaller satellite people groups that have ethnic similarities.

Click here to go to Joshua Project.

Adopted! Still At It.

C.J. Mahaney is still chugging along regarding Adoption! over on his blog:

Adopted! (5): Justified or Adopted? Which is greater?
Adopted! (6): Clashing Voices

U.S. aid going to terrorists, not starving kids?

U.S. aid going to terrorists, not starving kids?

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