Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prayer Warrior part two; Faith not fear.

During these hard times I have also been very aware of how much I need God's help. I have an anxiety disorder, which means I am filled with anxiety a large amount of the time. Anxiety is sinful and selfish. It is the opposite of faith.

God continually shows me how sinful my thoughts are. I am desperate for change too!! And even more desperate for His constant mercy and love as I repeatedly tell Him sorry for my sinful thoughts and actions.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.11 'Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'"
-Luke 11:9-13

These verses remind me to ask for God's help. To continuously ask Him to fill me with the things of the Holy Spirit.

"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
-Galatians 6:16-26

I need to continually ask God for more of every fruit. For more faith and peace so that I will not be anxious and fearful. For more love, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness as I interact with others. For patience with God to work in our hearts! For self-control to not give in to any temptation. And for joy over His love and promises. I need to ask for me to be filled and controlled by the Spirit as I interact and talk to others. I need to pray to let the Spirit control me instead of my flesh so that God will speak and love through me.

We already have the Holy Spirit inside us always, but God wants us to ask and pray to be led by it. To walk with it. To be filled more and more with the fruits. And to give the Holy Spirit control instead of ourselves!! God is a gracious Father who loves to fill us with the Holy Spirit!

For me it takes constantly asking over and over through out the day for God to fill me with each fruit, and it mostly takes choosing to live by faith. Believing we already have the self-control we need to say "No!" to temptation. Believing God is answering our prayers and working. Believing God is speaking and loving through us. Choosing to live by faith instead of fear. Choosing to embrace the peace and joy that comes from knowing of God's forgiveness and promise of Heaven.

These verses in Luke also remind me to keep praying for those who don't know Him. Who don't have the Holy Spirit inside them yet. I pray that they will begin to seek and knock. I pray that they will knock so that God can prove faithful and open the door of their hearts to Him.


I wrote this entry about a month ago as well. Around that time I chose to live "by faith and not fear." To live by hope. To allow God to fill me with peace and joy over Him, even when others are still struggling or depressed. I chose to embrace freedom in Christ!

I was struggling with little bits of depression each day until I made this choice to live "by faith not fear." I haven't felt those depressed feelings since!! I've still struggled with anxiety every day, but through it all I have peace, joy, and hope in me at the same time. Always. I know that God loves me and forgives me. I know that I have Heaven to look forward to. I know that He is working inside those who are struggling. He is answering my prayers!!!

Satan often fills me with lies. Makes me believe my hope and joy hurts others, but the truth is friends of told me, "Abby, we need that! We need to see that joy in Christ. It gives hope to us who are feeling so hopeless."

So, I am stepping out, bringing light and hope to this dark dark world.

I will keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep smiling over the thought of His love and grace. Keep holding onto the beautiful promise of eternal life with Him. And Keep living by faith not fear. It doesn't mean I will be happy all the time. I will still feel sad often for those who are struggling. Still feel sad and disgusted by sin. My heart will still break over how lost our world is. But God has shown me, He doesn't want me to be depressed. He wants me to put my hope in Him. He's in control and knows exactly what He's doing at all times.

Thanks God!!!

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
-Romans 5:1-5

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prayer Warrior part one; Not dead, merely asleep.

Lately times seem tough for everybody. People are struggling, hurting, stumbling in their faith, or hardening their hearts toward God's love and toward all that God has for them. People are not choosing faith and hope. People are suffering. People are dying.

During this time, my heart is aching. Aching for those who don't know Jesus. Aching for those who do but who are struggling. Aching for those who are unable to do what's hardest: simply have faith.

I thank God for these times. I thank Him for the sadness in my heart for others!! It creates a fire in my heart to witness. To share God's Word. To simply love. To let the Holy Spirit take over. And a fire in my heart to pray.

There is a growing sense of desperation in me. People are desperate for God. Desperate for help. I am desperately in need of God. And so I pray. With a heart filled with desperation and faith. I pray for hearts to be changed, I pray for eyes to be opened, I pray for my own selfish heart. I pray specific requests for friends, family members, and random people. I pray filled with faith because I know faith is what it takes for God to move.

And when I'm filled with sadness for those who are still hardened, God has told me in His Word to keep praying. Even harder. To trust Him. He's working in His perfect timing. Opening the Word has filled my heart with joy even more over God's great Power and the power of faith in Him.

"While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. 'Your daughter is dead,' he said. 'Don’t bother the teacher anymore.' 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, 'Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.' 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. 'Stop wailing,' Jesus said. 'She is not dead but asleep.' 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, 'My child, get up!' 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened."
-Luke 8:49-56

When reading this, I was filled with joy. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that those whose hearts I am praying to be opened to Him, those struggling in faith whose eyes I am praying to be opened to all God has for them right now, those who I am praying for to just simply have faith are merely asleep.

Prayers prayed full of faith that God actually WILL do what we ask are powerful. Start praying for the impossible. Ask God to work in people's hearts. Trust that God is working as you speak. Don't give up. Be relentless. These people are not dead. Only asleep!!!

... Okay. Oh my goodness!!!!! I wrote this a month ago. And I've known I've had it in my notebook waiting to type up this whole time, but I know why God was waiting until now. God has truly
answered prayers. He has truly worked in people since a month ago. I've especially seen visible change in the exact two people I was thinking about when the Holy Spirit revealed to me while reading the Word that they were merely asleep. Those two people have both had breakthroughs. Huge breakthroughs (and healing.) And that is only a tiny bit of what God has done. God has done a lot of other little things that I've seen each day, and I have faith He's done even more that I haven't seen. God has given me amazing times with people, especially family members I was praying for, to witness and share. And their eyes and ears have truly been open to learning about God while we are talking. It has been beautiful. Wow, God!!! ...Read the the little paragraph above this one again. My answered prayers proved it right!

Monday, April 25, 2011

He isn't about flow, but counter-flow.

I went to a really beautiful two and a half hour long Easter Vigil service at the Catholic church with my grandpa and sister. The more I read the Word the more I really love going to the Catholic church. I don't agree with absolutely everything they do and believe, but the mass is beautifully filled with scripture!! The prayers are strait from the Bible. We sang so many beautiful Psalms!! I asked my grandpa if he can get me the books that have the sermons and prayers before they are thrown away. I loved everything we prayed, sang, and read, so much!! Because it was straight from the Bible, and the Word always fills me with joy!

The funny thing about going to the Catholic church (I grew up into it until about last year at this time), is no one smiles. Everyone is serious or frowning. I always feel like I am the only one smiling. But I could care less!!! If the Word fills me with that much joy, I can't help but smile even if I am with hundreds of frowning serious somber people! To me what we are saying, praying, singing, and listening to is beyond beautiful. I can't help but smile like a fool. :)

Anyway, the Priest gave a really good sermon.

He said, "Jesus is Radical. Counter-cultural.
He isn't about flow, but counter-flow.
He's about Care. Concern. Chastity.
Compassion. Truth. Keeping your word.
Respecting women, and not lusting after them.
true Joy!"

The message said a lot more good stuff too. The message he preached was that we need to be careful when we say we want to be like Jesus. When we say we want to be one with Him. Jesus is different! Radical. Counter-cultural. Do we really want to go against the norm? Do we really want to let Him in? Let Him work in us??

I do.

And I will add a few more to the list: He's about spending time at His Father's house. Loving your enemies. Turning your other cheek rather than seeking revenge.
Discipleship. Honesty. Brotherly love.
He's Rebellious. An enemy of the world. Non-materialistic.

Radical, CRAZY love for God and for all.

24 "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."

-Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus said, "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?"

-John 5:39-44

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? 13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
-Luke 16:8-15

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand

Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?

Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!

Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like You Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the gruesome Truth. the Lamb. and the Glorious day.

When I think of Jesus, I get a picture of a man in my mind. A humble man, with a soft smile on His lips. I see Him extending His arms out to little children, ruffling their hair, calling them by name. Then He sees me, approaching Him on the grassy field. He calls to me, takes my hand, and He walks with me. I am filled with child-like faith, joy, and peace as I walk with Jesus into the distance...

I day dream about this all the time, picturing me and Jesus, walking in Heaven, laughing together.

The Jesus I most often picture is: Love, Compassion, Humility, Gentleness, Peace, Beauty through Mercy and Grace.

This picture is beautiful. It definitely represents a part of who Jesus is, but it is a very very very limited view compared to all of who He is and was when He was here on earth.

1 "Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him,
nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.

4 Surely He took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered Him punished by God,
stricken by Him, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
and by His wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so He did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of His generation protested?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people He was punished.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in His death,
though He had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes His life an offering for sin,
He will see His offspring and prolong His days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 After He has suffered,
He will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,
and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out His life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors."

-Isaiah 53:1-12

In the past week I have read this passage again and again and again every day. I've been reading Isaiah a lot lately, and when I came across this passage, I was filled with joy! And awe! I didn't remember ever reading it before (or realizing it was about Jesus before--though I have read the Bible many times in the past, and I'm sure each and every time I have been filled with a similar joy in the fact that some of words in here are very famous words I sing all the time, "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed." Even so, I had forgotten about this prophesy in Isaiah!!)

Each time I read it again and again, I am still filled with so much awe, and amazement. Wow. Jesus was disgusting in appearance. Not always beautiful on the outside like I picture Him. Isaiah says, "He had no beauty or majesty. Nothing that we should desire Him. Like one whom people hide their faces."

On the outside He was gross. Disgusting. Bloody. Wounded. And scarred. If we saw Jesus with the crown of thorns piercing through His head, with His beaten and pierced skin, with nails through His hands and feet, we would have to turn our heads. We'd be too disgusted to even look. We would not want to remember the horrible sight. We'd be more comfortable forgetting. Not seeing.

But this is Jesus!!!!!!

My precious Jesus. The same beautiful Jesus who's Hand I long to hold became so incredibly beaten and ugly, horribly DISGUSTINGLY crucified out of love for me and love for God His Father.

This passage in Isaiah compares that gruesome death to an innocent lamb being slaughtered.

I say, "Lamb of God, Prince of Peace" all the time. But recently this has began to mean so much more to me... Lately, I have been challenging myself to think deeply about Jesus as the Lamb. The innocent little Lamb slaughtered for my sins.

Exodus chapter 12 talks about when lamb's blood was smeared on door frames for Passover. Before this happened a family had to take a lamb into their home for a few days. The children and family may have become attached to the lamb during that time, and then they had to slaughter the innocent, cute little lamb, eat it, and spread its blood on their door frame.

The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread

1 "The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to at it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance."

-Exodus 12:1-14

In the Old Testament the significance of the lamb was that Israel shed innocent blood. The lamb was a sacrifice. Its blood was a substitute for the blood of a person who would have been killed in the plague. From this night on Israel would remember that innocent life had been sacrificed in their place.

All of this foreshadowed what God would do with Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Jesus' blood was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' innocent blood was shed in our place so that we don't have to die to sin anymore. We are free from wrath! Free from the eternal fires of hell. Our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus. God's love and Salvation now cover us. By faith in Jesus Christ we now have the gift of eternal life!!!!

"It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."
-1 Peter 1:18-23

I've been thinking hard about all of this. Thinking about Jesus' love for me. The love that led Him to die this gruesome way for me. And the love He had for His Father that He would be obedient to Him until death. This shows that He really believed in the Father's love for Him and for us. Jesus' radical life and death show how much He believed that the joy ahead of Him was worth it!!!! He died for us, to be the offering, the sacrifice, the Lamb, so that our sins are now forgiven through His blood. He died so He could rise again. Be in Heaven with the Father. Give us new Life through His resurrection!!! And welcome us into His Kingdom. Wow. That is love.

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
-Hebrews 12:1-3

I've also been thinking about God's love for us.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him."
-John 3:16-17

I can't imagine how hard and painful that was for God to watch His beloved Son die that horrible gruesome death. But God loved me that much. And God, also, knew the joy that was coming. Why did God want us to share in that joy??!! He could've been selfish. Could've kept the joy of Heaven all for Himself. But He didn't. He loved us that much. Had so much compassion that He forgives us even though we have sinned horribly against Him.

"How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

God loves and forgives a horrible horrible sinner such as me so much that He slaughtered His innocent Son, the Lamb, for my sins. And He invites me to eternal life with Him!!!

"He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

-Romans 4:25-5:11

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom"

The best part is the joy that all this brings: the promise of eternal life!!! What a glorious day that will be when I can walk with Jesus.

Beautiful. Humble. Loving. Compassionate Jesus.

My Savior.

The Lamb.

My God.

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as
black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the Light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him,
the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Friday, April 22, 2011

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

I am in a deep state of confusion and thought.
This happens to me quite often.

I feel so deeply saddened, worried for, and disgusted by this world.
It is so sinful. So dark. So lost.

Yet, most have no idea!!

We love to be self-focused. Pleasure seeking. Doing whatever "feels good."
Trying to escape, achieve, be happy, have fun.
Looking to other people to satisfy us. Putting our hope in human relationships.
In success. In having fun. In material things. In entertainment.
We love to eat or drink away our pain and anxiety.

This disgusts and saddens me.

What saddens me most is we are okay with it.
Too stubborn to change.

We don't want to trust God.
We don't want to surrender.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles."
-Romans 1:21-23

"Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave themover to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents, they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
-Romans 1:28-32

We desperately need to repent!!!
But we refuse.

We'd rather wait. Sin now.
Give in to temptation.
Banking on the fact: "God will forgive me later."
"I can repent later."
"I am already saved."
Listening to the lies...
"Everyone else is doing it."


I am just angry at myself.
Angry at myself for being so sinful.
For continuing to turn to food in times of anxiety.
It might for a second.
But later it HURTS me.
And it always hurts God horribly.

He doesn't deserve that!!!
He deserves my love.
My heart.
My praise.
My purity.
I want to keep His commands out of love for Him.
I desperately want to bless His heart.

I want my heart to break. I need my heart to break. I need to hate my sin. To hate it so bad that I can say, "No!" That I can cry out in desperation, "Help me God!"

He gives us enough self-control and help to stop.

While I was writing this, during all my confusion and anxiety over all the thoughts in my head, I started using food to help me write. To help me cope. To calm my anxious mind. Not good. For me that is a sin.

So I cried out to God fo help and strength. It was my choice to use the food and my choice to stop. Even if I felt trapped, I wasn't. He gave me the strength to say, "No." To put away the food. And to say, "No more."

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
-Matthew 26:41

But please pray for me. Pray my heart can break even further. Further so that I never turn to food again. I want to be free from turning to food completely. I know I can be right now!! All it takes is faith in Him. That He is enough. That I don't need the food.

Having faith is the hardest thing in the world, especially when we are weak. But He IS enough. And He IS our strength. We can do all things through Christ. If we just believe it! :)

I repented for turning to food and for all the many sins and sinful thoughts I've recently committed.

Now all I can say is,

"Thank You."
From the depths of my heart,
Thank You God for Your Mercy.
Thank You for Your death and suffering.
Thank You for Your love.

All I do is bruise You. All I do is crucify You with my thoughts.
All I do is bring You pain, blood, and tears.
Yet, You still look on me with compassion.
You still forgive. Still love.

Thank You Jesus.
I owe it all, my all, to You.

Going out into the world is so incredibly hard for me. I pray for God to fill me with every fruit of the Spirit. I pray for God to fill me with His love. I ask the Holy Spirit for help. I pray, "God, break my heart for what breaks Yours." And when I go out, my heart breaks hard.

I am deeply saddened and disgusted by how filled with sin this world is. How much we are constantly fed lies by our media, our culture, and our own flesh.

I hate sin. I hate the sin I do and the sin everyone else does.

And God's really been working in my heart lately. Teaching me. Opening my eyes as I pray to Him, listen for Him, and read His Word. I've learned I need to be really careful as my heart breaks like this. I want to hate the sin people do, but I do not want to judge the people for their sin. Doing so is completely hypocritical as I am a sinner myself!! It is only God's job to judge. I can't see people's hearts. Instead, I must let this breaking lead me to God's heart: mercy and grace. All I can do is pray hard. Pray hard that they do love God with their whole heart, that they are or will seek Him, that they are repenting for their sins. I need to leave the judging and condemning to Him. For as much as I judge others He will judge me!! That's a very scary thought, because I need to work on all the things I am praying for others for just as much as anybody else!!!

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things. Now we know that God's judgement against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being pass judgement on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgement? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"
-Romans 2:1-4

Dear Lord, please help me.
I often find myself being horribly judgemental!!!
I need Your help badly, Dear Lord.
Help me to be more like You.

Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
But keep me from all judgement, pride, or selfish thought.
I don't want to condemn others! anymore!!
Instead, with this breaking of my heart, lplease lead me.
Lead me to my knees.
To fear You.
To prayer.
To Your heart.
Lead me to the cross.

Please take my selfish heart and make it new.
Make it like You.

Thank You Jesus for Your mercy on a sinner like me.
And thank You for Your help.
I need You.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My unfaithfulness. His mercy.

God has been touching my heart in so many ways lately.

One of the most beautiful ways has been through opening my eyes even further to His love. His love through the
rescue. His love for us and desire to save us even though we are so sinful. Even though our sin hurts Him so!! Even though we are stubborn and think we don't need Him. He is relentless. Still desperately after our hearts.

Isaiah 43
God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness
16 This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

22Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel.
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your offenses.

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.
26 Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together;
state the case for your innocence.
27 Your first father sinned;
those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
I consigned Jacob to destruction
and Israel to scorn.

Isaiah 44

Israel the Chosen
1 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 This is what the LORD says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD’;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
and will take the name Israel.

The LORD, Not Idols
6 “This is what the LORD says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

9 All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.

12 The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.

23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.


I just can't get over this. I keep reading verses and chapters in Isaiah again and again. And keep hungering to read more and more of the Bible, His love is just blowing me away!!!!!!

Even though we constantly hurt Him with all of our sins, even though we turn away, we are stubborn, we worship idols, we worship ourselves, He is still after us!!! His plan is still to redeem us. That is why He sent Jesus.

All of Isaiah foreshadows the coming of Christ. Through Christ, through the cross, through forgiveness of sins, Israel is redeemed. So are we.

The small price is faith.

... All of this excites and delights me. I am so excited to forget school. Forget all the superficial worries of this world. And just worship Jesus during this Easter week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I wish I could sit forever.
(coming out of the mouth of me who always likes to be moving, these words are strange.)

Strange, but true.

I want to sit forever.
and just think.
Think about Him.

God's beauty that covers the earth.

In the green of the grass, the blue of the sky,
All creation draws me to Him.

I don't have words for Him.




All of these words come to mind as I sit in awe and wonder.

But none compare.

My mind is much too small.
every word is nothing.

Only a tiny glimpse of Him.

The beauty in His creation makes me smile
bringing praises to my lips.
It is all painted, sculpted carefully by Him.

But I know that all I can see does not compare to all He is.

... And then I think on His love.

Even this word is so tiny compared to His heart for me.

Though I deserve to burn forever in hell, He looks at me with eyes filled with tears
of grace.
Love deeper than the word as we know it.

He runs to me, scoops me up, twirls me around and around.

Fast circles.
So fast, I'm laughing loudly.
He throws me, just into the air,
and catches me gently, spinning me again.

He takes my breath away.
And calls me His.

All I want to do is sit.

Get lost in awe.

Forget about the world.
Lose track of time.

Just sit
forever, with Him on my mind and praises on my lips.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I want my life to be an offering. An offering of praises to Your name. Honest praises from my heart. Of Your everlasting faithfulness and goodness. Of the little things You do for me every day. Of the hope I have in You. The promise I have in You. Of Your Love. Grace. And promise of Heaven. I want my lifesong to sing to You.

You ask me to die to myself. This is so hard for me. My flesh and selfish heart fight back at all times. I need You to help me do it. I need Your strength badly. But I have faith that Your strength is always more than enough to help me with all things. I want to carry my cross for You.

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
-Hebrews 13:15-16

"Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.'"
-Mark 8:34-35

"LORD, I give my life. A Living sacrifice. To reach a world in need. To be Your hands and feet. So may the words I say. And the things I do. Make my lifesong sing. Bring a smile to You."

"Everything I once held dear, I count it all as lost. Lead me to the cross. Where Your love poured out. Bring me to my knees. Lord, I lay me down. Rid me of myself. I belong to You. Lead me. Lead me to the cross."

" 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

26 'What is written in the Law?' He replied. 'How do you read it?'

27 He answered, “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

28 'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.'"

-Luke 10:25-28

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wrapped in His grace

Today I am overwhelmed.

By His Love.

His Mercy.

His Arms.

I feel wrapped. Wrapped in Love.


Though anxiety keeps trying to well up inside me, keeps trying to consume and fill me,

When I think of His love and mercy, my body grows limp. My heart melts. I feel warm inside.
And I smile.

How could He, the Lord above all Lords, love me??
Love me??

...And like this???!!!

Jesus died for me.
Was filled with pain and unspeakable suffering.

For me.

An anxious mess.
Who messes up every day.
Who deserves death.

.. And if that wasn't enough, He still wants to pour out blessings on me every day.
Like a Father, He wraps me in His arms.
Carries me.
It is His delight to help me.
With every little thing.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in Heaven and on earth under Christ."
-Ephesians 1:3-10

This week I have/had three very difficult psychology tests, one paper, lots of Statistics homework, and other studying to do. For me this is hard. I would rather be lying at His feet. Praying and singing. That is all I feel like doing at the moment. I feel like thanking Him. And I also have a strong desire to witness. Share His Word and Love.

But He wants to help me. Even though this trial is so tiny and unimportant compared to Him and His love, He wants me to trust Him. To let Him do the impossible.

Though I become filled with anxiety when I try to do homework and study, though I hate studying instead of talking with others about Him or going to events, He says, "Trust Me."

He wants to help me with this. I can't do it on my own, but with Him I can do all things! Even though studying is often a huge trial for me, He has been faithful before and He'll be faithful again!


Yesterday I was not feeling well. Anxiety tried to consume me. I was not able to focus or study. But I kept praying and listening to Christian music. I kept fighting the anxiety with prayer. Even though I couldn't study, I trusted He would help me. I trusted Him with the impossible.

Today as I woke up, got ready, and took my first test, I was overwhelmed by His great love and mercy. By His grace!!! By how much bigger His love and mercy is than anything. By how small my problems are, but by how great His love is. That He would care for me like a Father who not only wants to, but delights in, helping His daughter with all things, even silly college tests...

Taking the test, songs of praise were going through my head. Songs about His grace. I was smiling. Unbelievably filled with peace. And joy. And He helped me a lot...

Today He already placed people there for me to witness to. When I wasn't even expecting it! I was too filled with peace to care, but that's when He knew I was ready. He is brilliant. His plans are so much better than mine!! I don't know why I ever doubt. Why I ever lose trust...

His mercy is too great.
That He could forgive my selfish heart.

His faithfulness is forever.

Nothing compares to His love.

"Your love is Amazing
Steady and Unchanging
Your love is a Mountain
Firm beneath my feet

Your love is a Mystery
How You gently lift me
When I am surrounded
Your love carries me

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Your Love makes me sing
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Your Love makes me sing

Your love is Surprising
I can feel it rising
All the joy that's growing
Deep inside of me
And every time I see You
All Your goodness shines through
And I can feel this God song
Rising up in me

Your love makes me sing
Your love makes me sing, sing, sing
Your love makes me sing"