September 30, 2011

grace in a mug

[Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope inChrist might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.] Ephesians 1

Rejoice my soul, you've been rescued, you've been redeemed, you've  been adopted. You are constantly being sustained and loved by the God of the universe. Scotty Smith said it better then I could this morning.... 

"As I head squirm in a season of difficult decisions, I’m so thankful that you are a sovereign Father, having equal care for each of your children. I can trust you. I don’t have to panic. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to take matters into my own hands. I don’t have to fear outcomes, “what ifs,” or “if only’s.” Second-guessing must surrender to gospel sanity.

Father, help me to want your purposes to stand more than I want life not to be messy. Help me to glory in your pleasure more than I obsess about my future. Help me to accept disruption as a necessary part of transformation. There’s no comfort like the comfort which comes from knowing you, and calling you Abba, Father."

"So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ trustworthy name."

September 29, 2011

bring your own tea.

Last night after a mixture of listening to (I admit) maybe a few too many Taylor Swift songs and listening to myself rather than talking to myself; I let myself slip into a bitter, cynical, doom and gloom mood about some situations happening in my life. Some big, some small.... They became my focus.

I could identify with the man in Mark 9 when he cries out... "Lord I believe, help my unbelief" although I was far from that desperate cry. I was truly enjoying swimming in my pool of doubt. Is Christ capable of full reconciliation? Yes. Is Christ capable of full healing? Yes. Have I seen too much of it...No. Do I believe he WILL do it? No. My head and heart were very far apart last night.

Then I got a simple text message from a friend gave me a shot of perspective. They challenged me to get to know Christ better, look at Him, learn from Him, understand Him, then you'll want to love Him and trust Him. "And when we see Him rightly, trusting Him won't be a issue. Perhaps we have one eye on Him and one is on ourselves and it's screwing up our vision of Him." I can try to make all the excuses for myself in the world but that is truth. A bigger, longer, more in depth look at Christ fixes all ailments and emotional lows. Christ is Lord over those things and will faithfully rule over them graciously. I can't turn to other things to try to fix myself. I can't fix myself at all. Christ has already died for those things. He's already atoned for my sins. Jeremiah 17:8 [He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.] I do not need to be anxious I need only look longer, harder, and more frequently to my Savior. He is faithful to heal, faithful to save, faithful to reconcile, faithful to give good gifts to His children.

Also this video made me cry. Jesus forgive me for becoming comfortable with my faiths marriage to the world. Forgive me for excusing sin. Give me anguish in my soul so that I can love you more. Jesus you use desperate people. Make me desperate.

September 28, 2011

spaghetti and scripture

I was over at my second home last night for dinner and over a delicious spaghetti dinner, I started complaining about the struggles of dealing with difficult people.  I was promptly handed a bible open to this passage, when I tried to justify myself I was told to shut up and just read. So I did.

"43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5

Jesus continue to convict me and show me the ugliness of my own sin. Reveal my wicked heart and demonstrate the kind of patience I need to be practicing towards other. I need to be devastated by my sin  so that I can be amazed by my Savior. Enable me to love. Thank you for relationships with people that call me on my crap. Thank you for biblical fellowship. 

September 27, 2011

tuesday morning

Hey Tuesday morning, thank you for not being Monday.

Yesterday was a zoo at work. But the Lord was right there with me. I was so encouraged when I opened up my inbox and found a couple emails from some dear ladies who genuinely care for my soul. It was this HUGE practical reminder of how much God loves me.

We've been talking a lot about community at church, how we need to stop "attending" church and start being the church. Growing up a pastors kid I've really had little choice in the matter of being the church. But only in the past few months am I really learning what kind of community Christ is calling us too in John 13:35. I am a bit of a lone wolf..... I always joke with my family I'll never read that Paul and David Tripp book titled, "Relationships- a Mess Worth Making" because I don't really need people, often I don't like people. I get over people shockingly fast and have a incredibly sinful habit of giving up when relationships get tricky. These might be my natural sinful tendencies but Christ calls us, he calls me to a higher standard. I'm instructed to love like Christ. I'm called to forgive a million times. I'm called to love everyone, even those people that are hard to love. The ones you butt heads with all the time, the ones that offend you, the ones that have hurt you, you know... Those ones.

Jesus, I have relationships right now that would be easier to give up on. There are relationships that I have given up but they still sting. There are relationships that are flourishing. All of those relationships are gifts from you. You are the Lord of reconciliation. You make broken things whole again. Scotty Smith said in a prayer on his blog, "You humble stubborn people. You soften hard people. You free stuck people. You gentle angry people. " Jesus I am a proud, stubborn, stuck, hard, angry person and these things keep me from loving like you. Jesus humble me, soften me, free me, gentle me so that your name might go forth and so that I can love people.

September 26, 2011

tall 3/4 full americano.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:16-18

"Help us to be convinced about the inward renewal that you are effecting in our lives, day by day. You will bring to completion the good work you have begun in us and all around us."- Scotty Smith

Lord, I believe that you are working all things together for my good. I believe that you will complete the work you have started. I believe that you sent your son to save my soul and appease the Holy wrath of God the Father.

But Father the enemy whispers lies to my soul. Those whispers are kindled by the fallen world where I live. I begin to feel doubts and wonder if I can add something; I doubt that what you've done is enough, I start to wonder if you're really concerned about my good. Jesus in those moments convince my heart, own my heart, direct my attention back to you.

Show me that my good and your good are intertwined and my good cannot be separated from your good. Achieving any good apart from you is like trying to breathe in a body with no lungs. My "good" promised in Romans 8 is referring to me becoming more and more like Christ. Only then will my soul be satisfied and my restless mind be put to ease.

Today is Monday and the start of another crazy week. Today I don't have the strength to pretend to have it all together I'm aware that today I'm "outwardly wasting away" but you PROMISE a inward renewal. Renew my soul this morning and convince my heart so I can worship you more.

September 25, 2011

pearl tea and time to think.

Father, today is a fight for joy. I think technically everyday should be, but today that truth is hitting me hard.

It's hard to get up and go to work everyday and battle with discontent and doubt that this isn't the "right" thing for me to be doing. It's hard to look at my mom as she's quietly suffering through the confusing maze of a horrible disease. It's hard to constantly stand in front of a door and wait for you to make the next step clear. It's hard to look at stuff like this and say, Jesus you are glorious!

Father, I feel like I've been standing in front of this door for hours, days, weeks, months, years. I've memorized the angles, I've devoured every little detail. I'm familiar with the worn handle that's been rattled and scraped by various sizes of keys. I am well aware of the scuff marks near the ground where anger won the argument. In some lights this door seems like a blessing and a gift. Sometimes this door points directly to your sovereignty and it can show me countless promises you have faithfully answered.

But Jesus some days this door seems like a obstacle. It seems like something that I need to overcome and obliterate. Too often it's a hassle and it annoys me, it depresses me and makes me look inwards and forget to look at you.

Jesus apart from you freeing my heart to rest in you, I will continue in my sin and fail to see my Glorious King that died for all of my sin and all of my unbelief. Jesus, you died to save my soul and now you reign over every part of my emotions and day. God has ordained every door that I encounter. Father make my heart quicker to see you. Help me resign from my throne of doubt quicker, help me stay at the feet of the cross, enable me to never feel like I can move from there.