Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankfully Saved

This past week was Thanksgiving, which my family spread out over 4 days.  2 days were spent with my husband's family and 2 days were spent with mine.  I love Thanksgiving food and I love going around the table telling what we are thankful for.  I wish that we could keep going around the table for hours sharing what all God has been doing in our lives but alas, not everyone likes that tradition.

During my reading this morning of Colossians and Philemon, Thanksgiving kept being brought up.  Not the holiday, but the reaction to what all God has done for us.  How thankful we should be.  How boldly we should share.  Paul was encouraging the church (and therefore us as well) to conduct themselves in such a way that they would be thankfully sharing how Christ had redeemed us.  Through our joy and thanksgiving, through sharing our faith, Paul was praying that it would become 'effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ." (Philemon 1:6)

If we are saved, then we of course are thankful.  We have to be.  There isn't any other option.  If we have been saved we should be overflowing with such joy that His light pours out of us.  And if being redeemed brings us such joy, we should be sharing.  So go.  Be bold.  (I'm speaking to myself as well.)  Let's share our faith and what God has done in our lives to those who desperately need to hear the gospel.  Be thankfully saved! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two Months

It has been two months since I experienced just what the Bible means when it repeatedly says "pangs of a woman in labor."  I don't regret a moment of my labor.  My birth story is beautiful, overflowing with God's grace.  I don't know what I was thinking believing that the pain couldn't be THAT bad.  I was wrong.  Still, feeling every contraction and pushing out my beautiful blessing from my Father was and is indescribable. 

But, this isn't to talk about my labor.  This post is to talk about the beautiful gift that God allowed my husband and I to create.  The beautiful gift created by the beautiful gift of love.  All because God, in His grace and mercy, looked down from above, fearfully and wonderfully knitted me together in my mother's womb, planned my life, and predestined this girl from Knoxville to fall in love with an incredible man from Chattanooga, vow before God, family, and friends to love each other through thick and thin, and then He generously allowed our love to make a beautiful baby boy. 

Breathtaking.  I am in awe of God.  I am humbled.  I did nothing to deserve the life He has given me.  But He wanted to give me this life anyways.  All I can do in return is seek Him first, let Him pour into me so fully that I overflow Him into the lives around me, and live every day as a Song to my King.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Song in my Heart

My baby boy is swinging next to me and I'm crocheting a frog beanie, enjoying a cup of Mint Chocolate coffee, and listening to a CD that has nothing written on it.  It didn't have a case.  I wasn't sure if it was a CD I burned while in college, if it belongs to my husband, or if it even had anything on it.  So I popped it in to find out the answer to those questions, as well as have music on so that little Roman stays asleep in his swing.  Turns out, it is a CD that a friend of mine in college gave to me several years ago.  The very first song captivated me.  I know I've listened to this CD before, so I am baffled as to how I didn't recognize the first song in the least. 

Needless to say, God wanted me to find this CD and put it in.  It is stirring my heart in so many ways.  I am experiencing a beautiful, blessed hour in my home.  Just me, my Father, and the blessings He has surrounded me with.  Most of these songs are perfectly focused on all Christ has done for us.  Drawing me into Him.  Calling me closer.  Reminding me of the Faithful One.  My soul needed this.  I needed this.  Sometimes, despite us being surrounded by Him and held by Him, we are still too busy to breathe in His presence.  Ahh, what sweet presence I am experiencing right now.  I couldn't help but put down my yarn and needle and blog this moment.  I hope that someone reads this and either knows this feeling, or takes the moment now to bask in His Glory. 

As I usually do, I'm going to share the lyrics with you of the first song that God used to draw me in today.  The song is called Beautiful, Scandalous Night.

Go on up to the mountain of Mercy to the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the Holy Mountain
Sinner, sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul in the fountain that flows for you and for me and for all
On the hillside you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross, justified.
And your spirit restored by the river that pours
From our blessed Saviour's side
You carry the sin of mankind on your back and the sky went black.
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night.
On that beautiful, scandalous night.
On that beautiful, scandalous, miraculous night.

Have a blessed day, friends.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Desired Death

"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." James 1: 13-15

I have been reading through the Bible chronologically since last September.  I should be done by now, but have let things get in the way and am currently in my last few weeks.  It has been such a journey.  I read through the Bible when I was younger.  It was a rule in our house.  To get your driving permit, you had to read the Old Testament.  For your license, the New Testament.  Truthfully though, I probably skimmed more than read.  I didn't want to postpone my permit or license any longer than necessary.  I read just enough to give my parents a summary of the chapters each day.  Now that I'm reading through it on my own, desiring to learn more and soak Scripture in, I am enjoying completely.  When I'm finished, I will start again.  How important it is to eat our Daily Bread!

When I read the book of James yesterday, I was struck by these verses.  I knew them to be true, yet how often have I in my own life accused God of tempting me.  I might call it a 'test' instead to try and justify my accusations, but nonetheless I was wrong in doing so.  God always gives a door out to resist temptation, but He does not lead us into the room.  Satan does, to try and ruin our reputation, as well as taking down a few onlookers in the process.  As believers, we need to be clothed in armor. We need to recognize that our desires are at war within us, raging and trying to cripple us.  The Holy Spirit is at work changing us, but we give our flesh power when we submit to our desires.  And how often does it birth sin!  Before long that desire grows and grows until it brings forth death.  We need to guard our hearts.  Clothe ourselves in Jesus.  Submit to the Holy Spirit.  And pray for our brothers and sisters.  "Every good and perfect gift is from above," and in letting Christ pour through our lives, being visible to the world, we can allow Him to magnify His perfect gifts rather than us magnifying our broken lives that our wrapped in tempting desires and death. 

God has made His children beautiful.  And blessed.  "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Learning Grace

"My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I'm currently learning grace.  I know God's grace and have felt it rain down on me.  Now I am in the process of being a which God can pour His grace through me and onto my son.  We are, hopefully, in the final days of his 6 week growth spurt.  To anyone who has had a child, you understand how trying this time is.  I do not know how single moms with zero help do this.  I have my husband in the evenings to help me, to take a shift of screaming, so wouldn't you know that the evenings are when baby boy is at his worst?!

I am enjoying being a mother.  I adore my son and am blessed beyond words.  I do not deserve him.  He is a sign of grace in my life.  Now every day I just have to pray that God will allow me the grace to show my son His grace and His love every day of his life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Problem Not Your Own

I'm sure we have all come across problems that are not our own, yet have adopted them confidently, knowing that some how, some way, we are going to find a solution and make everything better.  I have been in the middle of an internal battle for nearly two months now because of this.

I'm not going to go into the details simply because that is not what this post is about.  It is about letting go and letting God.  Every problem I hear about does not equal me taking care of it.  I know that prayer is powerful.  I know that God answers all prayers.  Absolutely all of them.  And that not all answers are what I wanted or expected, but all answers that God gives are the best answers there are.  So why do I constantly act as though prayer isn't enough?  Why must I try to fix things that are entirely too big for me to take on?  

I am constantly in need of God's grace as I continually stumble through life.  He must chuckle at me every time I try to do His job.  My job is to love.  Deeply and fully.  Even when it is hard.  

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails...There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord... There is surely a hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."  (Selection of God's promises.)