"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Monday, October 31, 2011

That His Name Be Praised

 This song was shared in church yesterday: whether you're a "sender" or a "goer," it's a good reminder of the ultimate mission of missions.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time to Rethink

"All I can do is pray," I thought. A second later I had a mental, "Whoa, there!" as I realized what my thought implied. Although I hate to admit it, my deep-down throught process was, "If I could only step in and have a hand in this situation, I know exactly how I could 'fix' it. But I guess I'll have to let God do the best He can."


It's embarrassing and rather sad that I could think that way. I want to have big thoughts about a BIG and GREAT God. And obviously the words "O ye of little faith" could apply to me when it comes to prayer. Still, I feel a little better when I realize that the disciples themselves had the same problem-and yet Jesus didn't give up on them. So I'm asking Him to do the same for me. I echo His followers in saying "Lord, teach me to pray." I'm going to be spending a while seaching the Bible for what God says about prayer. I'm so glad to know it has answers for me!

On a slight side tangent, I find it so amazing that God is completely sovereign over all circumstances and yet in a mysterious way He uses and listens to our prayers. God is utterly sovereign and prayer changes things. And yes, it's okay if your mind is spinning over that (mine is too);  thankfully we don't have to have God and His ways figured out!

I've seen God do great things in answer to prayer. I believe He can do mind-boggling things in response to our requests. He is so good to listen to us! So I say with the father in Mark 9:24 "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."


Friday, October 28, 2011

Made for Each Other

Though they look a little stiff in this picture, I love this sweet quote by Calvin Coolidge about his wife Grace:

"We thought we were made for each other. For almost a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces." 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Молитва за сирот-video

This video was created by Ukrainian Christians for Orphan Sunday (November 6, 2011): a day for the church to remember and act on behalf of the fatherless and vulnerable. In the words of Jedd Medefind on the Christian Alliance for orphans blog, the Ukrainian church is "on fire" in its desire to adopt and care for the orphans in its country. *Enter personal commentary: It makes me extremely excited to see Christ's church on the other side of the world passionately living out the Gospel to the needy!*

(The video is called "Prayer for Orphans," and the words at the end basically say that there are more than 30,000 orphans in Ukraine and that each person's prayer can make a difference.)

Is the church in America on fire to live out James 1:27? Please leave a comment if your church is doing something for Orphan Sunday! I would love to hear from you.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Sure and Certain Goals

As graduation draws near (sort of) the questions about my future have started coming thick and fast from well meaning friends. And the truth is, I don't really know yet! So this past Sunday, I just started writing down some things I know "for sure and certain" about how I should use my future. I'm confident that with trust in God and some further exploring of my options, I can find a way to use my post-school time in a God-honoring way.

(These are listed in no particular order)

  • Even in everyday mundane things, do all to God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  • Set my mind  on heavenly things, not on what wins the world's praise (Colossians 3:1-4)
  • What is God's will for my life? That I glorify Him, and, as a part of that, grow in sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4)
  • I am still called to honor and obey my parents (Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20)
  • If I want to be wise, I will seek and receive counsel (Proverbs)
  • God has called me to tell others about Jesus (among other places, Matthew 28:18-20)
  • Jesus has called me to deny self (Luke 9:23)
  • I am to use the gifts God has given me for God's glory and the edification of other Christians (1 Peter 4)
  • I can live in light of the fact that my citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:21)
  • Marriage is not my hope or source of contentment, but I am to prepare physically and spiritually, and seek to do the husband God may have for me "good and not evil all the days of my life." (Proverbs 31) Can't hurt, even if I never get married!
  • A follower of Jesus cares for the vulnerable and shows them compassion (James 1:27, etc.)
  • I will treasure Jesus and seek to know and obey Him better and better (Philippians 3:8-11, etc)
This list isn't exhaustive, but it's a good place for me to start and rest in. And speaking of resting...


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Call to Anguish

Yes, you read that right. But what in the world? Why would anyone be called to anguish?? Watch the incredible video (recommended by a family friend) below to find out.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

My New Friend

Ever heard of a sock monkey? Okay, so they can be a little creepy. But meet my Sock Elephant! He's not creepy;  maybe just a little disturbing, thanks to the fact that his body is comprised of 60+ odd socks that have no mate. Does anyone else have that problem? 
Thanks to my sister Cassandra in building the Sock Elephant. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yes, I'm excited!

Yes, I'm going to be an aunt. For the very first time. And in case anyone is wondering, excited doesn't come close. I'm thrilled! It is strange that my dear big sis who is only 15 months older than me is expecting her first, but we've already exchanged dozens of texts and looong phone calls to chatter about our excitement. My parent's infertility has taught me the value of a little one. And having ten adopted siblings who could easily have been aborted, I've come to realize and treasure the miracle of created life right from conception.

I took this picture with my cell phone a couple months ago....I like the message on it :) 

I'm counting down the days until I can hold my precious new niece or nephew. And if you'd like to keep up with how the new mommy and daddy are doing, you can visit www.youngandmarried.net.  


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Priorities, Priorities!

At risk of sounding like I'm complaining, these days school literally never ends. The deadlines press in hard and fast; assignment, project, midterm, paper, finals. And honestly I've had days (or maybe more) when the term "senior" applies in terms of total and utter exhaustion as well as my status in college. And since the assignments never end, the question continually arises: do I take a break to spend time with family? with friends? to take a walk in the beautiful fall weather? to blog? to read? to eat? breathe? You can see the decisions are endless!

However, there is definitely a positive side to feeling overwhelmed-it has shown me over and again how much I need Jesus' wisdom, strength, and sustaining power. As my own sin is revealed through this straining process (read: I've complained every now and then!), I am reminded forcefully of how that sin would completely separate me from a good and holy God were it not for the fact that Jesus is my rescuer. When I've felt completely exhausted physically and mentally it has driven me to the word for strength to go on, and there I've seen His
majesty (Isaiah 45),
compassion (Matthew 20:34),
power (Mark 4:41),
meekness (Matthew 11:28)
wisdom (Colossians 2:3), 
love (John 15:13),
forgiveness (Luke 23:34),
holy zeal (Matthew 21:13),
victory over death (Luke 24:6)

and more...oh much, much more. The more I learn about Him, the more I know I have to learn-and it's been amazing to realize more and more that He wants me to know Him more-that when I seek Him, He draws near to me and teaches me (James 4:8a). I risk rambling, but I sum up my vent about school with a couple quotes that have reminded me how precious it is to know Jesus.

"May my cry be always, Only Jesus! only Jesus!
In Him is freedom from condemnation,
Fullness in His righteousness,
Eternal vitality in His given life,
Indissoluble union in fellowship with Him;
In Him I have all that I can hold;
Enlarge me to take in more."
                                      ~ Valley of Vision, The Life Look, pg. 97

"I dare not say but my Lord Jesus hath fully recompensed my sadness with His joys my losses with His own presence. I find it a sweet and rich thing to exchange my sorrows with Christ's joys, my afflictions with that sweet peace I have with Himself."
                                            ~Samuel Rutherford, The Loveliness of Christ, pg. 48

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings..."
                                                                                       ~Philippians 3:8-10