Friday, August 31, 2007
tears are upon her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is none to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies."
"Record my lament;
list my tears on your scroll —
are they not in your book?"
"'Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people,
'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says:
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;
I will heal you. "
-II Kings 20:5
"He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
He will remove the disgrace of his people
from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken."
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."
Sometimes it's hard to see any joy. Sometimes our eyes are so foggy from tears that the blessing is hidden, hope is vague, release is not in sight. Sometimes we drench our beds weeping like King David.
It's a comfort to remember that the One who keeps a record of our tears will heal us, and will wipe all our tears away in His time. Someday, He will replace our tears with songs of joy.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
-Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God
(This book is amazing! :) )
Wow. What a fresh perspective. I could groan and stagger my way through school, or I could treat it as the amazing opportunity it is to aquire knowledge ultimately designed by HIM! My major (Accounting) could be a necessary but preferably avoided drudgery, or it could be the joyful obedience of learning how to be a good steward. Every experience an opportunity to either glorify or disappoint. What an important, jubilant, liberating mindset to have throughout an entire life - college, career, whatever!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I love the smell, especially on brisk mornings. It does make me crave donuts and coffee, though! :)
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm a little dubious about this semester because of various struggles and sickness over the past year, but I know my Lord will sustain me. The nice thing about not working is that I have complete freedom for homework or whatever needs to be done, or very random things.
Like today, just when I was through with my last class I got a txt message from a friend who was very nervous about the first day at her new college (different from mine.) I was able to jump in my car and meet her there, so we could wander around and figure the buildings out together before her class. It would be very unlikely I would have been able to do that before I quit my job. Now that my hands aren't tied with work I can be available for some opportunities that I could never fit in before. There are definite pluses to not working, once I get used to having time again. :) The financial aspect does involve a certain degree of trust, as well as the period of waiting on the Lord, because I honestly don't know what is coming next for me.
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" -Isaiah 30:21
I'm just trusting and praying that He will guide me toward the right opportunities, and help me to use my time wisely in His service. One step at a time does involve trust, but we can count on His presence with us all the time, convicting, guiding, and redirecting when necessary.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. '" -Jeremiah 29:11
What a comfort and relief that my Lord does know - because I definitely don't! :)
Thursday, August 23, 2007
One of the questions in the shorter catechism is "Can you see God?" The answer is "No, I cannot see God, but He always sees me."
It's so easy sometimes to only focus on the first half of this answer: "No, I cannot see God" when in fact the most important is the second part: "He always sees me." We all go through darker times when it is difficult to see Him or His work in us. Like Hagar, we weep alone in the desert - yet the whole time He sees, and we are reminded as Hagar was: "Thou God seest me." What a comfort to know His vision is not dependent on ours.
"She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
While we are on earth our vision is faulty and blurred, and it's hard to see Him. We can be comforted in the knowledge that He always sees, and His vision is 20/20. All that is necessary for us is to hang onto our faith that the One who sees, sees clearly, and that is enough for us.
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. " -I John 3:2
"And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."
When we awake, we shall see Him, and we shall be overcome and amazed at all His workmanship at the times when we could not see. Meanwhile, our Master sees, and that is all that is necessary - for He is the One who writes the music and performs the melody.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
-I Corinthians 4:20
"Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."
-I John 3:18
I am not the most articulate person - I actually write much better than I talk! This has caused concern in my interactions with non-Christians as far as: "Am I sufficiently 'talking the talk' in order to draw them to the gospel?" However, this verse in Corinthians is saying that the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power!
Not to say that it is wrong to "talk the talk" - or course not! I have an admiration for people who are better at putting the gospel into words than I am. Yet this is not the only way to draw others to our precious gift of salvation. A believer who truly walks in love both toward the brethren and to non-believers, is in a powerful position to be used as an instrument for God's glory. It's easy to love in word, yet it's not convincing until our actions show that we love in deed and in truth.
Non-believers may or may not pay attention to what we say, yet they are watching our lives and actions to see if we are really living what we are saying.
Being "slow of speech" like Moses doesn't have to hinder our witness - for it is the Kingdom of God that possesses the power. An instrument doesn't write the song or play the tune, but when the Musician plays it becomes a beautiful melody.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Ruth's words sound like those of a wife to her husband - "Entreat me not to leave you" "where you go I will go" "if ought but death part me and thee." It is beautiful when applied in this sense, and I have seen it used in many weddings. Yet a thought struck me that we sometimes overlook... this was Ruth speaking to her mother-in-law!
What a far cry from the "mother-in-law jokes" of today, the careless attitudes and lack of respect. Ruth showed selflessness, caring, respect, and complete devotion to Naomi and care for her welfare. Ruth left her country to care for her mother-in-law. She gleaned the wheatfields for Naomi, she obediently followed Naomi's "odd" instructions regarding her relative Boaz.
And Ruth was blessed in abundance.
It's hard to see a modern day version of this story happening because our culture is so different. Respect is largely a thing of the past.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
"Mais Ruth re`pondit:
'Ne me prie point de te laisser,
pour m'e`loigner de toi;
car j'irai ou` tu iras,
et je demeurerai ou` tu demeureras;
ton peuple sera mon peuple,
et ton Dieu sera mon Dieu;
je mourrai ou` tu mourras,
et j`y serai ensevelie.
Que l'Eternal me traite avec la dernie`re rigueur,
si jamais rien te se`pare de moi que la mort.'"
Of course the English version is beautiful too, especially in the King James:
"And Ruth said,
'Intreat me not to leave thee,
or to return from following after thee:
for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die,
and there will I be buried:
the LORD do so to me, and more also,
if ought but death part thee and me.'"
I just love this passage! :)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat
falls to the ground and dies,
it remains only a single seed.
But if it dies, it produces many seeds."
"A broken heart is an acceptable offering to God. He will never despise it. We do not know what unimagined good He can bring about through our simple offering. Christ was willing to be broken bread for the life of the world. He was poured out like wine. This means He accepted being ground like wheat and crushed like the grape. It was the hands of others who did the grinding and crushing. Our small hurts, so infinitely smaller than His, may yet be trustfully surrendered to His transforming work. The trial of faith is a thing worth much more than gold."
I remember reading a story about a butterfly that was struggling to escape its cocoon. An onlooker had pity on the poor butterfly who was trying so hard, and cut the cocoon open to release it. The only problem was, after it was out of the cocoon the butterfly couldn't fly. The effort it required for the butterfly to free itself from its cocoon would have made its wings strong enough to fly. There was no strength without the struggle - and without strength there was no flying.
In theory it makes sense that trials are given for strengthening, and for His work to be performed in our lives. In practice it's often a lot harder to see this. We pray to be made more like Him, we ask Him to work in us, and then we still taken by surprise when His working comes in the form of pain and struggles. There has been so many times when I cried out to Him to free me of a trial, and His answer was a quiet "You asked me to work in you and now you are asking me to stop." I have been guilty of this over and over again, and after His quiet convicting my response can only be "Yes Lord, work Your perfect will in me. Let these struggles transform me closer to Your perfect and beautiful image."
"O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart."
-Thomas O. Chisholm
Sharing in His sorrows can only work to draw us closer to Him, and to imprint a clearer reflection of Him in our lives. What a small part of His trials we share, yet it is through them that we are transformed into His image! Brokenness does bring beauty.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Yet isn't that what happens to us?
"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today." -Deuteronomy 15:15
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Beth(right) & I
Nicole, Melissa & I goofing off
Nicole & I have been friends since we were 2 or so. It will be so strange not working with her...