Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Your Hands" by JJ Heller

Dreary Wednesday


"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34. ESV.)

What Gospel-Centered Preaching Does

What Gospel-Centered Preaching Does
(The Gospel Driven Church: Jared Wilson)

Rants and Ramblings On Life as a Literary Agent

Forgive me but I am actually going to post some worldly advice here. Generally I try to stay focused on the cross with my posts however I read this article and it made me say, "Hum, that makes sense." I simply thought it was decent worldly input for those who enjoy blogging and writing (like me). :)

This comes from the blog of Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner. She is doing a Marketing Principles series and Part two of three was something I had not heard (or thought about) before.

Click here for Marketing Principle #2:If You're Not First, Forget It

For the entire series please see Ms. Gardner's blog at http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com.

Adopted for Life

Adopted for Life
(Tim Challies)

What’s Compassion’s Theology? Answering Your Compassion Questions, Part 1

What’s Compassion’s Theology? Answering Your Compassion Questions, Part 1
(Molly Piper)

You Don't Have to Be Productive

You Don't Have to Be Productive
(Desiring God Ministries: David Mathis)

The Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration
(John MacArthur: Pulpit Magazine)

Yes, I See That Hand

Yes, I See That Hand
(by Randy Bohlender)

Are you suffering for the real Jesus?

Are you suffering for the real Jesus?
(Voice of the Martyrs: Persecuted Church Weblog)

20 nation poll reveals that most people support the right to criticize religions

20 nation poll reveals that most people support the right to criticize religions
(Voice of the Martyrs: Persecuted Church Weblog)

Who said it?

Who said it?
(World Magazine)

“You must defend those who are helpless and have no hope. Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless.”

Do you know the answer? Check out World Magazine to see if you are correct.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Painful Discipline of Our Heavenly Father

The Painful Discipline of Our Heavenly Father
(John Piper)

Listen

Resting and Wrestling

Resting and Wrestling
(Randy Alcorn)

"In the Hands of God" by Newsboys

"Heaven Is The Face" by Steven Curtis Chapman

A Prayer of Gratitude

A Prayer of Gratitude
(9Marks)

Pyromaniacs: Grateful for the revelation of the one Creator God (Thanks from Genesis 1:1, part three)

Pyromaniacs: Grateful for the revelation of the one Creator God (Thanks from Genesis 1:1, part three)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Three years (and some odd months) ago I received grace. I know this for an absolute certainty because my heart is different (Ezekiel 36:26) and the Holy Spirit present (Acts 2:38). Though I grew up in the church and had the “head knowledge” of my King, my heart was not entirely in it until 2006. I feel I had a “puppy love”, did not remain faithful, and my life from 1996-2006 was lukewarm (Revelation 3:16) at best.

I was raised in a good home, grounded in the foundation of God’s word, which I heard each Sunday at church. As a teen in high school I abstained from sex as I had made a covenant with God in my Sunday night youth group to do so. I had good morals and values and the world referred to me as a “goodie two shoes”, “good little church girl”, or “prude” but I was still a slave to my sin rather than righteousness (Romans 6:16) and wrapped up in foolishness. Although I did not partake in drugs, I did drink alcohol after high school (college and beyond) and was ruled by the flesh.

My King has taught me much over the course of the last three years and continues to do a good work in me. I look back at all I have endured (especially over the last 10 years) not with resentment but with thankfulness. Had it not been for the tribulation I would still be neither hot nor cold (Revelations 3:16).

In 2006, I was called upon as a witness in a domestic violence case. My heart was deeply grieved for a number of reasons and I looked to man for answers instead of setting my focus on God. My every thought and reliance revolved around man instead of trusting in my King. During the trial I sat reading scripture over and again until God did a great work and the hearing abruptly ended without a single word escaping my lips. I rejoiced in His faithfulness and mercy!

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. (Psalm 118:8. ESV.)

…be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11. ESV.)

"There is nothing -- No circumstance, No trouble, No testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ. Right through to me if it has come that far. It has come with great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment - but as I refuse to panic, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as come from His throne for some great blessing of purpose of blessing to my heart. No sorrow will disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the Joy of what my Lord is - that is the rest of Victory." ~Alan Redpath (I Corinthians 15:57)


This first refining was utterly painful at the time but now so beautiful! Many prunings followed..each just as agonizing as the first…and all regarding having complete trust in God…and when He moved my heart, to not ask questions, but rather just follow. In 2008 I went through a church split. I was brokenhearted yet did not question God’s will. I believed the good fight had been fought for years though I did not witness it. I trusted the word of the man I knew to be God’s guy despite the fact both sides sounded very convincing. The path before me was very clear and continues to be just as unobstructed. My words could never adequately express the thankfulness I have for the people God placed in my life to guide me according to His will. My heart sings praises to my King for them!

I am EXACTLY where God wants me to be today…though I may not understand everything surrounding it. And here I wait…

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34. ESV.)





* (When looking up the quote by Alan Redpath I came across the following messages worth mentioning: #1 “The Infallibility of God’s Purpose” by Charles Spurgeon and #2 “The Decrees of God” by puritan Samuel Willard.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

C.S. Lewis on Why to Seek an Author's Intention

C.S. Lewis on Why to Seek an Author's Intention
(John Piper)

1.Courtesy

Treat authors with respect and seek what they were trying to communicate. I call it the hermeneutical Golden Rule: Do unto authors as you would have them do unto you. Most of us are offended if someone spreads the rumor that we said hurtful x, when in fact we said helpful y.


2.Authority

If we are reading the Bible, it’s authority lies in the author’s intention (ultimately God’s) not our perceptions. We honor the authority of scripture by doing the hard work of thinking authors' thoughts after them.
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Noteworthy Missions

Today I had the pleasure of listening to a message by H. Syvelle Phillips. In addition to his wonderful sermon regarding being stubborn to the glory of God and digging wells instead of building monuments, Rev. Phillips and his wife, Lovie Phillips, also spoke about their missions "Evangle Bible Translators" and "God Loves Kids". I could not help but be moved by these followers of Christ and their efforts in translating God's word and child sponsorship. For more information about these missions please visit www.evangelbible.org and www.Godloveskids.com.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Be All There

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." ~ missionary Jim Elliot


When God’s will takes us to a place in our life where the future is unknown and the heart is heavy, this quote if far easier said than done! For example, when Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and the way of women had ceased to be with Sarah (Genesis 18:11) the Lord promised them a son. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. (Genesis 21:2. ESV.)

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. (Genesis 21:3. ESV.)


Then the Lord tested Abraham and said,
"Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." (Genesis 22:2. ESV.)
Abraham obeyed though I have to believe he was most likely confused and sad.

But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 12He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." (Genesis 22:11-12. ESV.)


Secondly, there is Hagar who bore Abraham a son, Ishmael, before Sarah conceived Isaac. Sarah said to Abraham,
"Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." (Genesis 21:10. ESV.)
God said to Abraham,
"Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring." (Genesis 21:12-13. ESV.)

14So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. (Genesis 21:14. ESV.)
This was God’s will for Hagar! She and her son were on their own, left to roam around in the rough country alone without any support, family, nothing! I cannot imagine how she must have felt!

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, "Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20And God was with the boy, and he grew up. (Genesis 21:15-20. ESV.)


God provided but how difficult it must have been for Hagar to “be all there. Live to the hilt” in this situation God had willed for her and her precious son. I cannot help but wonder if she had peace that surpasses all understanding or if she struggled with her sin of anger and anxiety. And I’m curious how it felt having the father of her child deny her and cast her away. Not to mention Ishmael’s feelings on the matter once he was old enough to understand.

Forever, O LORD, your word
is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91By your appointment they stand this day,
for all things are your servants.
92If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
94I am yours; save me,
for I have sought your precepts.
95The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your testimonies.
96I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad. (Psalm 119:89-96. ESV.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sorry, I Cannot

When asked to sin, I have to say, “No.”

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." (Genesis 4:7. ESV.)

Ecclesiastes 8:12: Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.

Isaiah 3:10: Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

Isaiah 3:11: Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.

Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD. (Genesis 13:13. ESV.)

2 Peter 2:6-10: …if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.


When an authority has been placed in my life yet that position over me continuously instructs me to sin I feel I have an obligation to say, “I respect you and would love to submit to you however I cannot do as you have asked of me,” even if I know my refusal will anger that individual.

"I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds." (Jeremiah 17:10. ESV.)

Luke 8:15: As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

2 Thessalonians 2:12: in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


When I stand before my Lord I will have to give an account to Him.

The Wives of Pastors

The Wives of Pastors
(9Marks)

Don’t Go to Church?

Don’t Go to Church?
(Sovereign Grace Ministries)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

By Faith

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25. ESV.)


I am going to be trying out a new church this coming Sunday. It is a Sovereign Grace plant in the city where I am visiting. As I was surfing their website I found they were just studying the book of Philippians! (Yep, Amy, Philippians!) This was an encouragement for me since a dear sister in Christ was just telling me a few weeks ago how wonderful the book of Philippians is and that I should read it for 30 days straight. (I’m still getting to that…haven’t started it yet.)

The website also reminded me of Hebrews 11: "By Faith" which says,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Hebrews 11: 1-3. ESV.)

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. (Hebrews 11:4. ESV.)

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. (Hebrews 11:5. ESV.)

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7. ESV.)

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8. ESV.)

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11. ESV.)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, (Hebrews 11:17. ESV.)

By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. (Hebrews 11:20-22. ESV.)

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. (Hebrews 11:23-25. ESV.)

By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. (Hebrews 11:27-28. ESV.)

By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. (Hebrews 11:29-31. ESV.)


I too will continue to walk by faith. Though I cannot see the road ahead or the whole picture (this side of heaven) I will trust in my sovereign King like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Moses, David, Daniel, Jonah, Mary, John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, and many others!

So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12. ESV.)

The Gospel and the Truth About You

The Gospel and the Truth About You
(by Michael Mckinley of 9 Marks)

Part 1
Part 2: Prayer

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Revelation Song by Kari Jobe

I love this song! We sang it at church on Sunday and I have heard it before however it took me a while to figure out the title and singer! And now without further ado...

Unshakeable

When I attended church this past Sunday the message was entitled “Unshakeable in Shakable Times”.

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23. NKJV.)
I BELIEVE! Therefore NOTHING is impossible…even the most challenging trial that seems utterly without a solution!

My #1 refining from the Lord seems to be: trusting in Him…completely! When tribulation gets especially difficult and I do what I know my King wants me to do yet the outcome does not look as I had imagined, I am quick to doubt and struggle with my sin of impatience. I look for immediate results yet nine times out of ten my King wants me to wait, be still, and know He is God (Psalm 46:10). And, no matter who or what satan tries to use against me I am to remain steadfast! I am to study and know God’s word and hide it in my heart so I might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Further God is ALWAYS faithful to provide everything I need to walk the path He sets before me. It is so humbling to watch God at work…and the way He orchestrates EVERYTHING all the way down to the tiniest (perhaps seemingly insignificant) detail!

Two and half weeks ago I read an excellent devotion by “Daily Bread” entitled “Be a Stander” regarding Proverbs 17:17 which says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Oh how true! Not only are my parents and brother standing firm with me in my hardship, there is a friend who knows me on deep levels…my heart and my character. She loves me all the time whether we are near one another or far apart. She is always there for me (especially when I need her the most)…“A true friend who stands with [me] in times of trial.” (Our Daily Bread: Be a Stander.) For her and my family, I am infinitely, indescribably grateful to my sovereign King.

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Proverbs 11:24. ESV.)


Thank you my Sovereign King for all you have given to me in this season of adversity and need. Thank you for protecting my heart, for lessons learned, for wisdom, strength, and for grace received! And last but not least, thank you for your mercy! I pray hearts will be changed, eyes will be opened, and (most importantly) You will be glorified!

To God alone be the glory!!!

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

"To God Alone" by Aaron Shust



To God Alone

Can You take me by the hand
Can You use me as I am
Break me into who You want me to be

When the time is finally right
Will You open up my eyes
Show me everything You want me to see

This life is not my own

To God alone be the glory
To God alone be the praise
Everything I say and do
Let it be all for You
The glory is Yours alone
Yours alone

Take the offering I bring
You want more than what I sing
Can I give You ever part of me

Turn these pennies into gold
Take this life I call my own
Until I'm running after Your heart

I'm needing to let go

To God alone be the glory
To God alone be the praise
Everything I say and do
Let it be all for You
The glory is Yours alone

We will rise, and we will fall
But You remain after all
You're glorious and beautiful
You're beautiful

To God alone be the glory
To God alone be the praise
Everything I say and do
Let it be all for You
The glory is Yours alone
The glory is Yours alone
Yours alone
Yours alone

Recycled Post: In Christ Alone


Friday, November 13, 2009

Slave to Obedience: Obeying God Rather Than Men

But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.”


As I continue to sit at the foot of the throne communing with my King and consulting Him on everything, scripture is an encouragement to me each day. Before starting schoolwork with the kiddos, every morning is spent doing memory verses and spending time with God and His word. We repeat the following verses over and again:

“No one can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24.)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5.)

“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1:6.)

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

“Fear not, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 43:5.)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105.)

“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5.)

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34.)


These beautiful truths are made even sweeter to me as I hear them from the mouths of the little lambs God has entrusted to me to train up and protect.

Further they encourage me to dig even deeper into God’s word. I am so thankful to my King for His favor! Because of His grace, which He has given to me through His precious Son, I am able to be a “slave of obedience”.

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16. ESV.)

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4. ESV.)

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:5. ESV.)

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19. ESV.)

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, (John 10:14. ESV.)

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7. ESV.)

I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, (Psalm 31:7. ESV.)

You’ve been cordially invited to break your heart.

You’ve been cordially invited to break your heart.
(Molly Piper)

Mothers becoming Moms: Child Survival Program In Action

Mothers becoming Moms: Child Survival Program In Action
(Molly Piper)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

He is a Shield to Those Who Take Refuge in Him

“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5. ESV.)


I have found whenever God includes me in a work of His I can expect to learn something and receive an unbelievable blessing! No matter what this might entail (an adoption, custody battle, sick child, church split, tribulation, etc.) the above can be said.

The most recent blessing came to me on Tuesday when a loved one shared her wonderful news! After a long, roller coaster ride of a custody battle for her granddaughter, God provided her with full custody in the form of an order from a judge…a judge who was most skeptical and seemingly unwilling to listen. The child, so small and unable to verbalize what it was like in each household was at the mercy of the court. But my loved one never stopped having faith in God and His grace!

My roll in the whole thing, though very small, still gave me insight to the situation, the heartache, and the fear of the unknown (though my loved one has favor with an all-knowing God). He had it all under control despite the fact that we (this side of heaven) had no clue as to why certain things had to happen. Our sovereign King, of course, saw the whole picture. He could have stopped the battle in its tracks but did not. And boy, to God be the glory!

Along the way my loved one and her family rose to great heights and plummeted into deep valleys. We watched helplessly as a court ordered a small child back and forth between households over hundreds of miles. The good fight was exhausting and seemed endless. It looked as though God was going to have to move mountains. Some days there was great urgency and other days of long waiting. Documents and history were reviewed with wisdom and discernment. Witnesses came forward. Many prayed for the child and the family.

Then finally, although seemingly impossible, the court reached a decision. God allowed tribulation and despair for a season...

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10. ESV.)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12. ESV.)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21. ESV.)


...yet was (of course) victorious! This beautiful blessing has given me great encouragement and reassurance in my own tribulation. God has not and will not leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Purpose of Yours Can be Thwarted

Despite my tendency to struggle with my sin of worry, God has granted me a peace that supercedes my fret. He has placed in my mind knowledge that He has everything under control and this truth creates a warm feeling in my heart and security.

Then Job answered the LORD and said: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42: 1-2. ESV.)


There is NOTHING that will keep God from doing His will! NOTHING can take me from Him! He goes before me, paves my way, and provides all that I need. He orchestrates people and events to guide me in the direction that will glorify Him!

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21. ESV.)


My King has given me courage to seek counsel regarding this tribulation I have been battling for ten long years and which reaches beyond me and prior to me stretching at least 18 years. The trial and sin goes out like long fingers snatching up all who come near. It is a web woven to ensnare but God will be victorious! I seek the counsel of sisters in Christ, pastors, teachers, counselors, family, Christian authors, etc. yesterday, today, and tomorrow, where ever I am standing and then I pray for God to make my path very clear.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22. ESV.)

Proverbs 11:14: Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 20:18: Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

Proverbs 24:6: for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.


God will be glorified! I will walk as He guides me.

"It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8. ESV.)

Twelve Baskets of Bread and the Walk on Water

Twelve Baskets of Bread and the Walk on Water
(John Piper)

Click here to listen to the entire message
Click here to watch the entire message
Click here to listen to an excerpt.
Click here to watch and excerpt.

“This child deserves to know Jesus!” -Brother Guillermo

“This child deserves to know Jesus!” -Brother Guillermo
(Molly Piper)

God’s Embrace

God’s Embrace
(Daily Bread Devotional)

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Testimony to God’s Goodness in Disability and Suffering

A Testimony to God’s Goodness in Disability and Suffering
(by John Knight for Desiring God Ministries)

In His Perfect Timing

I have felt God turning up the heat a bit and in the midst of my broken hearted state and sitting at the foot of the throne communing with my King, the following email found its way to me. A friend of my mother forwarded it to her on Saturday (which happened to be a particularly difficult day for me). My mom quickly had me read the email last night after she had viewed it. I almost did not read it all the way through (because I feel I am familiar with God's refining) however I am very glad I did. It was all in God’s PERFECT timing and was such a beautiful, precious blessing to my heart! So I asked my mom to forward it to me so I could post it here.

(Author Unknown)

Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God .

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ' He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, ' Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.


God's word tells me,
"It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8. ESV.)

Mighty to Save by Michael W. Smith


HE CAN MOVE THE MOUNTAINS!
MY GOD IS MIGHTY TO SAVE!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Preaching to Myself

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18. ESV.)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8. ESV.)

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11. ESV.)

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. (Psalm 118:8. ESV.)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10. ESV.)

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10. ESV.)

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

Then Job answered the LORD and said: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42: 1-2. ESV.)

And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. (Job 42:12. ESV.)

And David said, "It is my voice, my lord, O king." 18And he said, "Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands?" (1 Samuel 26:17 & 18.)

For the king will hear and deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the heritage of God.' (2 Samuel 14:16. ESV.)

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." (1 Samuel 26:21. ESV.)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. (Psalm 23. ESV.)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Power of Sin is in its Secrecy

I first came across the saying, “The power of sin is in its secrecy,” while surfing through the Duggar’s website. It’s such a small sentence but a rather large statement. And as a person who has been imprisoned and ruled by the secrecy of someone else’s slavery to sin, I understand this profound adage quite well.

I cannot help but wonder, “Why keep the secret?” God is not glorified in that!

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8. ESV.)

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11. ESV.)

Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason? 10Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." 12And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:9-12. ESV.)

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, (Luke 22:31. ESV.)

Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him. (Isaiah 3:10 & 11. ESV.)

Curses for Disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68.)

Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! (Psalm 22:21. ESV.)


The Great Surgeon is cutting deep but the wounds will heal. These 11 years of “heart surgery” (tribulation) have truly been a blessing from my Sovereign, merciful King…though there are those who would probably think me as bonkers for saying such a thing. Not to mention the “collateral damage” (the impact on those around me) is humbling…seeing God at work in individuals in close proximity to me.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20. ESV.)


I do have to admit though, in addition to the pain from the Great Physician’s scalpel I have also felt the sting of loneliness and little to no protection (aside from His). But I suppose my King wanted me nearly 100% dependent on Him, His son, and His AMAZING GRACE! He blinded me (to an extent) and those around me (to a certain degree) so a true connection and understanding could not be made until just recently…when the timing was PERFECT for His will to be carried out! I am still in waiting. The big picture hidden from my eyes…but my trust is all in Him who lights my path and paves the way.

I must stay focused on God, Christ, and God’s faithful word. Justin Taylor reminds me,
“Times have changed, but the Word of God has not. It is still “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17), “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). Let us wield it well as we seek to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5).”


Further, John Piper reminds me,
“that the rebellion and unbelief of the unbelieving…will turn Christianity into a sword that severs, instead of a peaceful balm that heals.” (Matthew 10:34ff.) (By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org)

Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Joins Anti-Abortion Group

Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Joins Anti-Abortion Group

Pakistani Christian Missionary School set on fire

Pakistani Christian Missionary School set on fire

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Remember those in chains: Pastor Thongchan (Laos)

Remember those in chains: Pastor Thongchan (Laos)
(Voice of the Martyrs)

To Love Him Is To Know Him

To Love Him Is To Know Him
(Tim Challies)

Seeds And Faith

Seeds And Faith
(Daily Bread)

Savior Please by Josh Wilson



Savior, please take my hand .
I work so hard, I live so fast.
This life begins, then it ends.
And then I do the best that I can,
but I don't know how long I'll last.

I try to be so tough,
but I'm just not strong enough.
I can't do this alone, God I need you
to hold on to me.
I try to be good enough,
but I'm nothing without your love.
Savior, please keep saving me.


Savior, please help me stand.
I fall so hard, I fade so fast.
Will you begin right where I end?
And be the God of all I am because you're all I have.

Hallelujah!
Everything you are to me
is everything I'll ever need.
and i am learning to believe
cause you're the one who's saving me.

Walk by Faith by Jeremy Camp



Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

[chorus]
Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to win my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do

yeah, yeah , yeah, yeah, yeah, ya

[chorus]

Well I'm broken- but I still see Your face
Well You've spoken- pouring Your words of grace

[chorus x2]

Well hallelujah, hallelu
(I will walk by faith)
Well hallelujah, hallelu
(I will walk by faith)

I will walk, I will walk, I will walk by faith
I will, I will, I will walk by faith

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me


I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain you who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain

[1st Chorus]

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty
I'm forever singing

[2nd Chorus 2x]

everybody singing
Holy holy holy
you are holy
you are holy

[2nd Chorus 2x]

The All-Providing King Who Would Not Be King

The All-Providing King Who Would Not Be King (John Piper)
Read
Listen

Helped By Fear

Helped By Fear

Children in Crisis Worldwide

Children in Crisis Worldwide
(Randy Alcorn)

It’s About Participation

It’s About Participation
(Randy Bohlender)

Often times I hear from people who are moved by the message of adoption but are not in a place in life where adoption is an option. They may have read something or heard Kelsey or I speak. They end up feeling more condemned than encouraged…because it’s not possible for them to adopt at this time.

Whisked Away

This past weekend my parents treated the kiddos and I to a fabulous few days at the beach! The weather was beautiful on Saturday then turned a little chilly and overcast for Sunday and Monday. Never the less the visit was relaxing, inspiring (God even provided a lovely full moon over the ocean one night), and rejuvenating. I am so thankful to God, for grace, Christ Jesus, my family, and precious unexpected blessings!















Monday, November 02, 2009

When Following Jesus Means Going Home

When Following Jesus Means Going Home

"He Is" by Mark Schultz


Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel your presence in this place
Lord, I’ve never been so weary
How I need to know you’re near me
Father, let the world just fade away

Till I’m on my knees
Till my heart can sing

He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm the storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be

He lives
He loves
He’s always with me

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Through every fear
And every doubt
And every tear I shed
Down every road
I’m not alone
No matter where I am

He is
He was
And He always will be

He lives
He loves
He’s always with me
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Be still, and know
Be still, my soul
He is

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