Glad to Know

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I've discovered something else about coming to realize just how sinful we really are. 

As Christians, with sin comes the need to CONFESS those sins. We must not sit around dwelling on the fact that we are DEAD in sin, we must move on to be glad in knowing that we are ALIVE in Christ. 

Sin is death. 

Christ is life.

By the grace of God, we are CALLED and CAPABLE of putting off the old ways of sin and death and putting on the new ways of Christ and life. 


Once again, Bilquis in her book "I Dared to Call Him Father" had something to teach me about this...She was really struggling with her sin. It was discouraging her. Things like white lies said to protect herself, anxiety, and fear were some of the specific sins she mentioned. They were overtaking her, she could not go on without them. 

BUT THEN, she learned that when she realized what she had done it was IMPERATIVE that she confess those sins. Each time she would turn to God in order to put off sin, she found herself taking up Christ. 

It's the same for all of us. We cannot walk in death and life. We cannot walk in sin and in Christ. We will sin and each time we find ourselves there, it is a call to go back. To go to God to confess, to remind ourselves of the Gospel and what we have in Christ.

It is in confessing sin that we get to SEE and to HEAR reality for a moment. We see ourselves for what we really are and it causes us to RUN to God in order to call on His strength. 
We ARE wicked.
God IS doing something about it.
He feeds us His Word, His truth, and His glory. He ASSURES us that, no matter what, we ARE His.
Walking in that looks like living life and constantly going to Him, letting each sin be a reminder of our weakness and His holiness and grace. 
In this, we are simply living life as God intended it. Through Him, for Him, and by the grace He supplies. This is what I mean by looking and listening.  

Click ^^^ for a list of the posts in this series.

Not Far

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In light of the bad news that I shared yesterday, I have some HOPE to offer you today. 

Even though we do not fully grasp how bad that news about us is, God does. He knows it, He knows how bad it is, and He is doing something about it. 

God has ALWAYS been doing something about our sinfulness. 

Acts 17:26-27 says,

"And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us..."

He puts His people exactly where He did, when He did  THAT they would come to know Him. 

All the while as we are deaf and blind, He is there. 

While we're running after SOMETHING, ANYTHING....He is there, THE ONE who will and can and desires to satisfy us with Himself. 

Yesterday's news should show you this: You NEED God. 

Today's hope should assure you of this: He is not far from you

The bad news is bad. But then, the good news, is REALLY, REALLY good. Keep reading in Acts 17 if you want to see just how good it is. 

A Real Problem

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Writing this series has been so good for me. For the first week or so, I got up and sat down at the computer to write before the day was really started. Having a plan of what I was going to share and taking the time to sit long enough to say it was really good. 

Then, I started something else that really needed to begin during the time I was usually blogging....And then last week was CRAZY. I had stuff to deal with and on Wednesday morning, I headed out to spend a few days at my friend Heidi's. It was my first overnight visit with them since the end of July. 

We did some painting,  hauled some junk, cooked (and I mean COOKED, apple crisp, three different kinds of chinese meats and some egg rolls, breakfast pocket thingies, and I feel like I'm forgetting something), visited with everyone at the ranch, folded laundry, and got a good dose of chatting in. I also got lots of time with their kids reading stories, playing with busy bags, doing hair, and enjoying the funny things that come out of the mouth of a four year old. So many times, I just had to smile. I didn't realize how much I had been missing all of them. Needless to say, my heart was a little heavy and a little sad when it was time to head home.

And it's Tuesday. I skipped out on six days of posts, but I'm here again. Let's just say, you might be hearing some of the posts I had planned for a while. After October is over, I'll spread whatever posts I didn't get around to writing out here and there! 


The last few weeks have been about understanding God's plan in creating this world and everything in it. 

We've been inspired by Isaiah where I came across these things:

A call to look and litsen.

The bigger picture of what it is we are too see and hear. 

The role of God's Word in how we are to look and listen. 


And now I come with some bad news....Honestly, it's the WORST news that you will ever hear. Ever. 

You and I are sinners. We are such sinners that we actually DELIGHT in sin. We cling to it, we look for it, we run to it. We find COMFORT in sin. 

It's sickening really. 

Here is the news straight from Isaiah 42:20,

"He sees many things, but does not observe them, his ears are open, but he does not hear."

Everyday we do look and we do listen. 

In our sin we see beautiful things and delight in THEM. We can't REALLY SEE...We don't see WHY they are beautiful, we don't see WHO made them, and we even mistake terribly disgusting things as things that are breathtaking. 

In our sin our ears only hear the things that are happening around us in real time. We can't REALLY HEAR...We don't hear the REASONING of what is really there, we don't hear WHOSE glory these things are proclaiming, and we even tune our ears into things that are destroying our souls. 

We are such sinners that we use our eyes and ears to feed sin rather than to kill it. 

That word OBSERVE really stuck out to me. I'm still trying to put my finger on why...I'm thinking it has something to do with the fact that our culture is obsessed with pursuing meaning and influence. 
We dig deep, but for what? 
To look in a mirror and approve of what we see. 
To dupe people into thinking we are something that we're not. 
LOOK at me. LISTEN to me. 
Today, you and I will see many things, but we will not observe them. Our eyes will be craving MORE. 
Today, you and I will have ears open, but we will not hear. We will still be longing to hear SOMETHING. 
This is reality and it's a problem. 
Click ^^^ for a list of posts in this series. 


Talk About It

Monday, October 14, 2013

If you heard one thing from yesterday's post I hope it was this:

God is doing something. 

You're here to talk about it. 

Verses like this one from Isaiah 43:19-21 help to REMIND us of exactly what this looks like,

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 
The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise."
God is doing it.
He makes the way, He gives the water and the rivers and the drink.
He made us. 
We're here to declare His praise.
Simple enough, right? 
I think we have A LOT more to praise Him for than we even realize! 
Look. Listen. Drink. Declare. 
It's a process. And we continually get to circle right around to THANKING Him for leading us in it. 
Today, let's TALK about Him. 
Click ^^^ for a list of the posts in this series.


What Are You Saying

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remember the bombing that happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this year?

Remember the response of Boston, and the people around the US? 

Maybe this slogan is familiar: "Boston Strong"? 

After all of that, Marvin Olasky of World Magazine had a talk with John Piper. You can check out the article and video HERE (the video is on the second page).

I heard two things:

1. Christian, you and your city and your country are weak. You need God. Our boast is not in our strength but His. If we want a slogan, it should be God-Strong. 

2. Christian, you are a witness sent to declare...This is a time for witness. 

In the video portion, Piper said,
 "You're not called to make change. 
You're called to talk! Keep talking...Get beyond, 'If I can't fix it, I don't talk.' 
You're not called to fix it! 
You are called to talk! And keep talking till you don't have a voice in you anymore." 

There again the strength, the change, the fixing is all God. We must know this and knowing this we must talk in order to point people to Him.

If they hear, there will be more voices doing the same. If they don't hear, if they get upset, if they actually hurt us, we must respond in humility. The influence of our voice will probably only grow.

Luke 21:12-13 says, But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for My name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness...

Mathew 24:13-14 says, But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come...

God's plan is that the Gospel will be preached. He sends His people to talk. 

Our God is strong and He has given us His Word that we would have something to say. 

Are you saying it?  

Click ^^^ for a list of the posts in this series.

8 Months and A Song

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Here we are, day 12!

This year has been flying by. Today a certain little boy turned 8 months old!!! I get to go see him and his sister (and their parents, of course) later this week and I'm VERY excited about that.

I look back over the past 8 months, I see the highs and lows and I also see A LOT of work that God has done. I see it in that family. I see it in my own heart. I see it in this nation - God is doing SOMETHING.

Click ^^^ here for a list of the posts in this series.

Last night my mom and I went out. We tried out a new to us chinese restaurant that was soooo good. It was pretty small but stayed busy and everyone that came in seemed to know the people that owned it. At one point, my mom leaned towards me and said, "What is this place, Cheers?!?!?" We're already looking forward to a trip back!

We also met up with some friends and went to a fundraiser. It's always so nice to visit and we had our fair share of LAUGHS...I'm sure the people around us wondered what was constantly THAT funny! 

The drive home was a speedy one thanks to a nice theology chat with my mom. If there is one thing I like to discuss, it's theology and my mom happens to be one of my favorite people to talk with. We can go on and on and on! 

Today it was rainy, the DRIZZLY kind. I was happy to put on a sweater, eat some of that leftover chinese food, and watch some movies. I also read a little bit, took a nap, and did laundry.

So, again. It's only Saturday and yet this weekend has already been such a good one! 
A friend of mine shared this song with me last week. It's been in my head ever since...It goes right along with the series and with what God has been teaching me for a while now.

What have the last 8 months been about for you? What song has been on repeat in your head?

No Empty Word

Friday, October 11, 2013

On September 25, I read something very encouraging through the Solid Joys app that was created by Desiring God. 
The title of the day's reading was "Life Hangs on the Word of God" which was written around this text from Deuteronomy 32:46-47:

He said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
God's Word is stronger than any other word that has or will ever exist.

Did you catch this - "for it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word..."

Throughout 2013 God has been showing me just how much I need His Word. 

I have come to see that it really is by His Word that I even LIVE. 

Sure, I can stumble along without it. Sometimes it even seems like I'm doing just fine without it. 

But you know how it goes, THEN you get back into it, you turn to it again, and BAM!!! God is there, showing you a MILLION things that are exactly what you were needing (maybe even looking) to hear. 

If we HOPE to see anything, we have to start with the Word. The Word serves as the glasses to our soul.

If we HOPE to hear anything, we have to start with the Word. The Word blocks up our ears from the lies of the world and makes sense of the whispers and shouts of truth all around us. 



It ALL hangs on the Word of God.

Click ^^^ for a list of all the posts in this series.

Power of His Word

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Over the last 9 days, I've urged you to hear God's beckoning and I've attempted to show you what He's beckoning you to. 

Now, it's time to move onto HOW we respond. 

What sets Christianity apart from every other religion is this: For everything God requires, He provides the means for those requirements to be met. 

In this case, the means by which we CAN come to see and to hear, to look and to listen, is by His Word. His Word is where we begin. His Word is where we continue. 
His Word awakens our souls and sets our senses on the path to truly experience His creation the way He intended.

Isaiah 40:6-8 says,

"A voice says, 'Cry!' And I said, 'What shall I cry?' All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever."
Too often, we underestimate the power of words, especially the words that come straight from God.
Simply put, the Word of our God will stand....FOREVER. 

Are you ready to see God's Word for what it really is? 

I'm excited to share with you some of the specific things God's been teaching me about the power of His Word!

Click ^^^ for a list of all the posts in this series. 


God's Mission

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

If you take one thing away from this series that I'm doing right now it would be this: For all of our looking and listening, there is one thing we are meant to observe, namely, God Himself.

Every single person that will ever exist is going to observe the glory of God. 

God's mission is to be seen and heard. 

He is THE "bigger picture" that I've been talking about. 

Isaiah 40:5 says,

"And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, 
and all flesh shall see it together,
 for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

There are some very definitive words here...

The glory of the LORD SHALL be revealed
ALL flesh SHALL see it together


FOR the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A Story to Tell

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Did you make the observation yesterday? If you did, you saw that we are surrounded by lies, by false offers to satisfy the longing in our soul. Every person has a longing for JOY, and PEACE, and PURPOSE, and even FORGIVENESS.

God made us with these longings. He made us with a NEED for these things that we long for. It is by His GRACE that each one of the longings is even there. 

And then, He steps in and applies even MORE grace. Through the work of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we come to see TRUTH and we are SAVED. We see the lies for the useless things that they are and are ENAMORED with God Himself. Maybe you haven't been there yet, ask me and I'll tell you more!

We are saved so that our JOURNEY of SHARING the truth might begin.

LOOKING is important because if we aren't SEEING God's majesty, we cannot point it out to others. 

LISTENING is important because if we aren't HEARING God's truth, we cannot speak it to others. 

ND Wilson encourages Christians to be storytellers....Storytellers who use, not necessarily written words, but lives LIVED to tell the story that saved them. We TALK about the Gospel A LOT as Christians. We need to make sure that our lives line up. We need to make sure that we are not living a LIE.

The Gospel is OURS. It has saved us and by the grace of God, it continues to CHANGE us. The GOSPEL is the story we have tell.  

The Gospel is something that STRIPS every ounce of appeal from the lies, the false "good news"that is being offered to our souls. We must be about the business of helping people see the empty promises in the lies they have embraced and replace them with the beauty of God and His Word.

Think about the conversations you've had in the last week. If you're like me, most conversation is basically what I would call "story swapping". Make the story you swap, a story worth hearing.

 Think about the thoughts that go through your head as you deal with people (directly and indirectly) on any given day. You can tell who is angry and who is sad. You can tell who is living for something outside of themselves. Make the story you tell with your life a story of the good news!

God has been sharing His good news since time began. Let's join Him!

Longing for More

Monday, October 07, 2013

Yesterday, I wrote about how we are here to DECLARE and DEMONSTRATE the good news of the Gospel.

After listening to ND Wilson's message at the Desiring God National Conference, I was reminded of something that makes this NEED even more real to me. 

You see, there are other versions of supposed "good news" being spread. I'm going to be really blunt here. These other versions are straight LIES. 

The worst part is, they are lies that WE believe. 

Wilson said, "Every effective lie appeals to man with a false gospel release. A release from your guilt, a release from your burdens..." 

Look around you, our souls are LONGING for more and all around us are OFFERS to satisfy that longing.

There is a battle going on.

If your soul has been satisfied in God, it is your JOY to share that satisfaction you have found with others. 

Today, OBSERVE some false offers, some of the lies, that are being spread as versions of "good news". 

I apologize if it makes you feel discouraged...

Remember, THAT place of discouragement is where your soul dwelt before God came in.

 Realize that that dark place is where the majority of the souls around us spend their entire LIVES. 

This is bad news. 

Click ^^^ for a list of all the posts in this series.

Declare and Demonstrate

Sunday, October 06, 2013

A few weeks ago, on a Monday morning I was listening to a sermon given at The Village Church called "Church Planters".

Matt Chandler spoke and then passed the mic on to two church planters who were sharing about why they were planters and what was happening in each of their "projects". 

I've never been a part of a church plant, but it is my prayer that SOMEDAY that is exactly what I'll be doing.
One of the men who spoke was Blake Chilton and he said something that I haven't been able to shake.

It went something like this, "We have been called to declare the Gospel with our mouth and demonstrate it with our life."

There is that CALL again. 
Every time I come across God's delight in helping me to see and hear the good news of His holiness and saving grace, it is quickly followed up with His delight in the overflow that is declaring and demonstrating that Gospel.

Planters or everyday Christians...Male or female...Young or old...

God has a PLAN for us. Whatever work we find ourselves occupied with we are here for ONE reason. 

We are here to HEAR and to SEE God and to help those around us by DECLARING to them the truth and DEMONSTRATING for them what it looks like lived out in our everyday lives. 

Are you excited? 

Click ^^^ to see a list of all the posts in this series.

PAUSE - Good Things

Saturday, October 05, 2013

What a weekend it has been! And yes, I know it's only Saturday. 
Last night I tried out the Pioneer Woman's recipe for french bread pizzas on my brother and sister. I was crazy about them, but they weren't impressed.

We also watched a very cheesy movie called "Spy School" and finished off a package of oreos and some ice cream. I was going to do smores, but somehow, I completely forgot about that until it was too late. 
This morning, we got up bright and early to head out to a little fall bazaar. This particular bazaar is kind of like Black Friday. People have their eyes on what they want and they show up early to get a good place in line. I stood in line while everyone else got breakfast. 
It was a PERFECT day. Very chilly first thing this morning, but by 10 it was perfectly calm, completely dry, and there was a beautiful blue sky. I'd forgotten just how lovely fall can be!  (You might hear me say that a lot - I'm thinking it all of time.)

We came away with sooo many good things including books, games, legos, some tea cups, a wooden thing that holds a couple decks of cards and some dice, fresh donuts (the kind they fry right in front of you), and of course FOOD.  


After things were finished there, we headed out to do some geocaching on the way back home.We were 3 for 3 again today. :)

I did a lot of thinking in that line this morning. At first it was soooo cold nobody was really talking. 
Pretty soon I started talking to the guy beside me and it wasn't long before the guy beside him and the lady beside me were talking too. We had our own little circle right in the middle of this line. And then of course as we were wandering around we ran into people that we actually know.

So, yes, it's only Saturday...But this has been a wonderful weekend already! The weather is perfect, I've been having fun with most of the people that I love, and God is there reminding me WHY all of these things are so good. 

What has your weekend been full of? I'd love to hear about it! 

Click ^^^ to see a list of all the posts in this series.

A Bigger Picture

Friday, October 04, 2013

The other day I shared Isaiah 42:18 with you. There we saw the truth that God is CALLING us to LOOK and to LISTEN. 

There is something specific that He wants us to SEE and HEAR.

Isaiah 41:20 says

That they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. 

The first part of Isaiah 41 is talking about all of the things that God was doing in the land to get the attention of the people. Obviously, this verse was written to them. 
The fact is, these same words are echoed throughout the entire Bible and all of creation. There is a bigger picture and that is WHAT God is calling our attention towards.

All around us, God has created everything and done everything He does SO THAT people will 

see and know

consider and understand together

that the hand of the Lord has done this... 

Wherever you are. Whatever is happening around you. Whatever you are enjoying. Whatever you are praying would be solved...God has done it! And He has done it SO THAT you would come to know Him.

Though we are deaf and blind, He has made a way for us to see and hear. 
As I read these chapters, thoughts of OBSERVING came to my mind. 
Today, won't you OBSERVE what God is up to? 
I hope you will and so does He! 
Click ^^^ to see a list of all the posts in this series.


That Place

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Last night I finished reading "I Dared to Call Him Father". If you're at all interested in stories of people who didn't know God coming to know God, there are TWO books I would recommend to you right now.

"Surprised by Oxford" by Carolyn Weber is one. Look into it! If you love words you will probably relate to her. 

"I Dared to Call Him Father" by Bilquis Sheikh is the other one. Her simple faith in God is absolutely fascinating. 

I just happened to read these two books back to back...I did not plan it that way, but apparently God did. I placed holds on a bunch of books at the library and those were some of the first available ones that came my way. 

Taking a break to read about the first time someone comes to truly UNDERSTAND the things of God was so refreshing. 

I don't get to experience that AWE very often at all these days.

Understanding begins with the Word of God.

Once we come to live by that Word, we CONTINUE in it being SUSTAINED by it. 

Bilquis shared a special bond with a woman named Synnove. It was Synnove, a Christian missionary, who answered many of her questions in the early days and proved to be a wonderful friend until Bilquis died. 

Together these women had something unique. For their many differences, they both KNEW God. And knowing God, they helped each other to know Him more. 

One night, Synnove came to visit Bilquis. Bilquis was so excited to see her because, "The best part is that you have brought Jesus with you!" 

Synnove replied and her reply taught me something, "Yes, my dear Bilquis, and you bring Jesus to me! Didn't he promise that if even just two of us would meet together He Himself would be there with us?"

You've probably read that verse before. I know I have.

Last night I reflected on what it is like to be with other Christians. Even if I've never, ever met them before, there is an instant connection as soon as we start talking about God, knowing Him, and what we have seen Him do.

Last night I realized that it's not the other Christians that I'm crazy about, it's God IN them.

Knowing and getting together with other Christians is special because it is in that place that we can SEE and HEAR God in a special way.

Even in our time together, there is MORE.

Christian, you DO bring Jesus with you! May people who come into your presence know that He is there!

Click ^^^ to see a list of all the posts in this series.

Three Poets

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Last night I went to a poetry reading where three poets shared poems they wrote and some they enjoy.
Here were three people very passionate about writing and appreciative of words. I connected with them as writers.


As I sat there listening to the pieces that they chose to share I noticed a common theme. The words they communicated revealed souls that were deaf and blind to the wonder of God. 
With their ears each of these writers LISTEN to the sounds that so many other people completely tune out. Though they heard the birds, the traffic, the quiet, and the joy, they could not hear the chorus line.

With their eyes each of these writers LOOK at the world around them. Though they saw the beauty of children, trees, shooting stars, and wild life, they missed the real point.

In each of the poems I heard souls whose looking and listening led to thoughts of despair, dying, joy in created things, hopelessness, and a sense that after today all is meaningless. 

One man seemed to have a sense that maybe there was something else to understand...He spoke of "the art around us...and the art 'out there'". He spoke of being convinced that there is more than just the art we see. He said that we are MEANT to see more. 
If you can SEE and HEAR, if your eyes and ears lead you to delight in God, THANK HIM. 

If you are having trouble or maybe if you've never had this sense of awe, ASK HIM. 

There IS art "out there". There IS more to what we see and hear and we ARE meant to observe it. 
God made it all and He meant for us to LOOK BEYOND the finger of creation (the art we see) to what it is pointing to (Him, the Artist who made it all)

Last night, those three poets served together as a finger that pointed me back to Him. Those there poets served together as a voice that beckoned me to go to the truth.

Click ^^^ to see a list of all the posts in this series.