I've watched my siblings grow up, my parents grow older, and God become part of our everyday lives.
It has been a road with hills, valleys, and lots and lots of mud. Somedays I felt ready to give up, but all in all, God has given each of us the strength to press on.
As the little ones have grown older, I'm beginning to realize that I won't always be "Sissy". Before I know it, they're going to think of me as more of a peer. Many memories that I hold dear are already beginning to be forgotten by them because they truly were just too young to remember.
It is my hope that I continue to grow close to each one of my siblings and that even when we're old and gray the love we share today will not be forgotten.
Friday, January 30, 2009
As I ate breakfast this morning, I picked up the latest letter from David Wilkerson with World Challenge.
This is a man who I have been inspired by since I discovered his book, "The Cross and the Switchblade" when I was eleven or twelve.
Not sure if any of you know his story...If you don't, google him, read the book I mentioned above, whatever- God has used this man in mighty ways. He is a Christian example of faithful obedience and one that must not be forgotten.
David Wilkerson always shares good messages, but like all people, some are better than others. The one we received in the mail yesterday is one of my favorites!
First he encouraged God's people to pray. Daily and with all their heart. Then, came the meat of the message. He paraphrased Hebrews 5:12, "By this time you ought to be teachers".
Let that sink in!
He went on to basically describe the lives of many people. They've heard many sermons, are familiar with God's promises, have been faithfully "stirred", and blessed by God many times. He asks, "And yet how often are we quickly deflated when trial comes?". He was mostly speaking to those men and women closer to his generation. He challenged them saying that in many ways they had failed the new generation.
I am part of that youthful generation he was speaking of. But even so, I have not been neglected. I have been brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and I too ought to be a teacher by now.
Like the men, women, and children who traveled with Moses as the generations have passed, many of the youth do not know the Lord like many of those before them. Wilkerson did to us today what Moses did to the generation he spoke to.
For those of us (old or young) who know God, have seen His faithfulness, have been given His promises: It is time to live like it. The learning will continue but we must not forget the purpose of our salvation. It is not to be made comfortable, but to equip us to teach others of the Lord and His great mercy.
Let us thank God for men like David Wilkerson who trust and obey. One humble man took one step of obedience back in the 1950's and a series of obedient steps has led him to reach the World!
"Therefore, we shall lay up these words in our heart and soul, and bind them for a sign upon hands, that they may be as frontlets between our eyes. And we shall teach them to our children, speaking of them when we sit in our houses, and when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up."
To hear this sermon "By This Time You Ought To Be Teachers" go to
If you'd like to read the sermon, let me know and I'll get it to you!
I normally wouldn't disclose the ending of a book. But, since this in no way ruins the plot, I'm going to share something from a book I finished last week. It's called "Katie's Dream" and it was written by Leisha Kelly.
It reminds me to count it all joy - especially the trials.
"We survived. More than that, we were blessed...We ended up taking them [a family in need] a meal most every Sunday we came into town. We had little. But it felt good to give. Emma had known that. Thank God she had passed it on.
Thank God for the opportunity to know Hazel and George and Edward and all the other difficult people we'd ever had to love. God knows what he's doing wrapping up the crazy mix He put on this earth.
'We wouldn't know sweet if it weren't for sour,' Grandma Pearl had once told me. 'Wouldn't know the answers without any questions, nor God's saving hand without something to be saved out of.'
Such is life. A parade of opposites. A jumble of trials, punctuated by moments of the purest bliss. Love and conflict. Laughter and sweat and tears. We saw so much of it all, bringing up little Worthams. And Hammonds. And it was good. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. "
After all, as God's people:
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
For, whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the first born among many brethren.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Struggles come up in all of our lives.
Right now I'm reflecting on Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
It is my prayer that I overcome my struggles. It is a daily battle. The talk is easy, but I'm being reminded that the walk is impossible without the ONE i'm trying to walk it for.
Having been redeemed in Christ, I rejoice knowing that victory is within my reach!
Friday, January 23, 2009
I'm taking a science class in college right now. A lecture today with Dr. K. Elder got me thinking....
Consider all the lives that have been dedicated to scientific discovery, text books that have been written, experiments that have been conducted, conclusions that have been made, and arguments that have been had.
Okay, so we'd run out of time if we considered ALL of these things right? And yet -
"Man's present scientific knowledge and the body of scientific laws which man beleives to be reasonable established, are based really on the observation of an amazingly small fraction of the universe around us over an extremely short period of time...
It's all just a tiny probe into the vastness of God's created universe."
Little by little, our finiteness is being made clear.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
As I sit here watching live coverage of the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America, I am feeling mixed emotions. Like many others, I rejoice over how far America has come. Like many others, I am saddened over the state of America serving herself rather than God. Like many others, I am unsure what to think. God is recognized, but by men and women who do not seem to be living for Him.
What do we make of all of this? Should we rejoice over it? Should we be fearful of what lies ahead? Should we be angry that ungodliness seems to reign?
I believe that the answer to all of these questions is a loud no! They are not even questions we should earnestly consider.
Rather than focusing on the issues we tend to lean on, we must lean on God instead. No matter where we live or what America comes to, as Christians, our purpose is to live in such a way that magnifies the glory of God. This purpose will not change no matter what lies ahead.
In the words of one spectator, "While my children were asleep, Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream came true". I believe this may be so, but as a man of God, Dr. King would have had new things to say on this day. He wanted equality not so much for the people, but for God. That together, they may come together as one people to serve Him. For when a people is broken, the body of Christ is not functioning as to magnify the Father.
The age of opportunity is ripe.
This day, consider the words found in Ecclesiastes 12:13:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man's all.
Monday, January 19, 2009
This quote from one of my history books perfectly describes my view on what much of American Evangelism has become:
"Luther made justification by faith central; this was a healthy corrective to the erroneous Roman doctrines of the day, but it conceded to humanism, in that some who followed after Luther made the salvation of souls rather than the glory of God central to the faith."
The issue is clear, God redeems His people not for their sake, but for His. He wants His glory to be magnified. Humans were made to do that, but they will not magnify Him unless they are redeemed.
So God redeems them and makes them more like His Son Jesus Christ, the one who magnified God's glory perfectly.
Want more? Go to www.desiringgod.org and check out the links to the right of the site's greeting.
Outside my window...
it is dark. The sky is clear and the stars are shining brightly.
I am thinking...
about the peace of night and the hope of a new day....as well as the fact that I've got to take the garbage can to the curb.
I am thankful for...
my role as a woman.
From the learning rooms...
thought a lot about Psalm 119 today.
From the kitchen...
the blessing of chocolate, in the form of brownies.
I am wearing...
my clothes from the day, a skirt and a long sleeve shirt.
I am creating...
I am going...
to serve others tomorrow.
I am reading...
my Bible....Katie's Dream...Life As A Vapor...and textbooks for history and science.
I am hoping...
to pray more.
I am hearing...
the sound of the fan and little feet going to bed.
Around the house...
things look good, but not as good as they did on Saturday.
One of my favorite things...
is clean hair.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
the usual. I'm most looking forward to some visiting.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
I didn't take it, I just like it. This is my current wallpaper on my computer. It is a taste of summer and a reminder that i am not.
Feel free to take part. Learn more at: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thoughts...We all have millions of them each day. What do you think about? Success, family, food, things to do, fun, the latest gadget- I'll let you fill in the blank.
I think about so many things in a given day. What to serve for dinner, whatever I'm learning in school, things to do, places to be, whatever I've been reading, friends, God, and the future.
The future.....That's a big one for me. It's right up there with God and His Word. Lately I've been hearing a lot about how "the end is near". I'm sure that every generation has said that, but God promised Jesus' return and as His child it is my responsibility to be ready for it. The sermons I've been hearing on the end times as well as the recent power outages we've faced, have got me pondering what does lie ahead. But more specifically, what if the end truly is near?
Am I ready?
Can I surrender my dreams for "my" future and live today not in hopes of all that could lie ahead in the worldly sense, but rather in hopes of eternity with God?
I'm not sure. I so want all the things that the partnership called marriage and the joy of motherhood have to offer. Reckoning with the fact that Jesus may return before that takes place is not easy for me to swallow. Why?
Because I have wrapped myself up in the here and now rather than the Him and His. May the words of Paul become the cry of my heart instead!
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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.
This is a move I will not regret, no matter what the future holds. Won't you join me in surrendering all your tomorrows to the One who holds them anyway?
Monday, January 12, 2009
God speaks to the hearts of His people. I experienced that this week. I have been working my way through John Piper's book, "Life As A Vapor". I work my way through books cover to cover and this book is no exception.
Except for last week. Last Sunday I faced a trial. The root of this trial was self-pity and the minute I turned to my identity in Christ, the burden was lifted.
However, the next day God brought me back to that trial in my morning devotions. Alongside of this devotional I was reading through the book of Mark. The reading for the day happened to be Mark 15. (The chapter leading up to and describing the death of Jesus Christ's great sacrifice on the cross.)
In the other book, I managed to read many days ahead. Now, I cannot explain this other than God's providence. Not only did I have a bookmark on the day I was "supposed" to read, I also read it daily and should know about how far into the book I am. Yet, somehow, I managed to read close to ten days ahead of where I was "supposed" to be reading.
The result? A chapter titled: "Storms Are the Triumph of His Art".
Through this chapter God gave a recap of the trial I faced from the day before, my attitude, my actions, and the comfort He brought me. I learned the lesson yet again: HE is my portion and in Him I have my complete being. I "need" no one else to give me my worth or acknowledge it.
I want to share with you this poem that was written by George Herbert and cherished by John Newton.
Away despair! My gracious Lord doth hear:
Though wims and waves assault my keel, He doth preserve it:
He doth steer,
Ev'n when the boat seems most to reel.
Storms are the triumph of His art.
Well may He close His eyes, but not His heart.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Through this verse, God showed me that He enables me to live a life of purpose.
That is: A life that testifies to the gospel of the grace of God.
In order to testify, one must acknowledge something. Living a "Christian" life is not enough. I must also acknowledge that this Christian life is a product of the great I AM that is living within me.
Friday, January 09, 2009
But I do not count my life as of any value nor as precious to myself,
if only I may finish my course and the ministry
that i received from the Lord Jesus Christ,
to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
God used this verse from 1 Corinthians 15:10 to show me that He is my righteousness. With my mouth I say the good I do is to glorify Him, but unless I beleive that with all of my heart my lips are lying.
The truth is, I found that I had stepped away from loving and glorifying Him alone because I had become caught up in the actions themselves. Like the Old Testament saints, I was "serving" God with empty obedience rather than loving Him with a humble heart.
The process was all wrong. Actions mean nothing if they are not rooted in a love for God.
The solution: Take my eyes off of "i am" and place them on the great I AM.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
By the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
thought it was not I, but the grace of God that is within me.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
God has been reminding me of a lot lately. Not surprisingly, it's all related!
The Lord has pointed me towards a series of verses over the course of the last few days and together they speak these things:
He is I AM and i am not. (See the book on my shelf)
i exist to point those around me to Him.
my existence is worthless unless it is in Him.
Whatever righteousness i seem to have is actually Him shining through me.
In this new year I'm going to seek to show others I AM by first reminding myself that i am not.
Want more? Check out the Scriptures I'll be posting over the next few days.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
I have finished reading the book, but my journey to godliness is far from complete. With the rest of my life ahead of me, however long or short that may be, this book has served as a piece of the building that will not crumble, burn, or fade.
Chapter Three taught me:
God loves music, my love for it is a good thing.
"Music, like all of God's gifts, is meant to draw our hearts and attention to His glory, His power, and His love" (p.88).
As I choose music, I must choose it wisely. If it does not draw my heart and attention toward God, then it probably isn't something I should spend my time on.
Lastly: I should own no music that I would only listen to in the case that I begin to backslide.
Chapter Four taught me:
How to begin considering my heart and motivations.
Looking at "stuff" was the beginning to realizing how much of an affect materialism has had on me.
If I let go of stuff, then I will be that much closer to embracing God at the fullest.
It is time to dematerialize and begin holding onto the riches of Christ!
Chapter Five taught me:
That modesty is an issue that is rooted much deeper than the skin- it, like everything else, begins in the heart.
As I seek to raise my daughters and disciple other young women towards dressing (and living) modestly, I must not begin there. Instead, I must begin at the heart level.
This is so basic, but it is something I was wrong about. This knowledge will help me to be a better witness for Christ and see the lost as He sees them.
Chapter Six taught me:
Loving the world properly is made possible by first loving the cross.
When I begin at the cross and let it touch every area of my life, I will be headed towards the magnificent God Story that is being laid out for man to see.
This book is a must read for everyone. I'm excited because it sounds like I'll be going through it all again with my family. Read it prayerfully and the effects will last long after the last page has been turned!