Thursday, December 20, 2012


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 21 - Overflow; a prayer

(This is an unedited prayer I journaled last Thursday, that has been running through my heart ever since.)

The Lord is good and His love endures forever. Oh Lord, I praise You in the gates and in my heart; for the world to hear, and sitting silently before You. 

You are good in the times of plenty, when my heart spills with joy and wonder, and You are good in times of pain, when my heart spills with sorrow and my soul faints in weariness. 

You revive the heart to fear You and You ordain our steps. You have us ever before You and lead, guide and protect.

You are great and greatly to be exalted. Be lifted high in my life so that the world may see You and fear You, for Your ways are excellent and Your laws right. You have given the Blameless for the shameful and the Well for the sick. 

You mend hearts and cause men to stand in awe of Your unsearchable ways. You created galaxies and mountains, oceans and dry land, You made the earth Your Son's footstool and yet You know me. You know my name and remember I am but dust. You are Master and friend, Savior and judge, righteous and humble, and therein lies the divine wonder; that the King of Glory, for which all was made that was made, became a man. Laid His glory down and became the created. All for me.

Oh Lord, You gave it all for my pardon, help me give all for Thee. Be honored and glorified, for all glory is Yours.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 20, Dictatorship

There was a time in high school I was borderline-obsessed with learning about Adolf Hitler and the tragedy of the Holocaust. The sordid tale fascinated me and I wanted to learn everything I could about it.

I'm thankful that in America we don't live under dictatorship.

...or do we?

It came to my attention (again) last night that I let circumstances and other people dictate my feelings far too often.

If someone is in a mad mood, I'll respond accordingly. If something happens that wasn't according to schedule/the plan in my head, I'll probably get frustrated. If someone says something hurtful, I'll probably take it too personally and (at least) temporarily be wounded.

You get the idea.

Why am I like that?

The only thing I can come up with is that we still live in a fallen body with a tendency to pity ourselves and incline toward self-imposed bondage.

Our inability to constantly and continuously lead our feelings is evidence of our fallen nature and tendency to be swayed by the flesh. 

God has freed us from the slavery of sin, yet so often--in situations such as those mentioned above--I'm so quick to run back into the dictatorship of feelings and situations around me that I don't live in the freedom Jesus died for.

To be under dictatorship means you have no control over the situations around you, and, while we don't have control over what happens to us, we have control over how we react to them.

"Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it." -John Maxwell

So, today I am seeking the Lord for strength to react in a Christ-like manner to the people and circumstances that come, recognizing that as a Christian I bear His precious name and don't want to do anything to tarnish it (2 Corinthians 5:20).

I am seeking the Lord to choose joy even when everything around me says to be depressed, hurt, sad, injured, etc. (James 1:1).

I am seeking the Lord to live in the freedom He provided and to tap into the eternal resources of life and godliness waiting for us as believers (2 Peter 1:3).

I am seeking the Lord to lay aside the sin that so easily entangles and run with endurance the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).

I am seeking the Lord to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel and the upward calling of Christ (Ephesians 4:1, Philippians 1:27).

Will you join me?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Resolution for Women Introduction

I was dashing out the door for a date with God at the local Panera Bread when I decided to grab another book. I quickly scanned my overflowing bookshelves when I saw it.

The book my awesome brother-in-law, Whitt, got me for Christmas last year. The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. The directors of the movie Courageous asked Shirer to write it and so she began to write a book for females about resolving to become women who seek the Lord with all they are, women who abandon the lies whispered by the culture and the enemy in order to pursue fully biblical womanhood, women who recognize they can do nothing of the sort without the strength and power of the Lord. 

That night, after spending time in the Word and praying during my date with God, I reached for the book and was mesmerized. 

It was so refreshing to read a book for women that wasn't about singleness or being married, but simply about falling in love with Jesus and making application to a woman's life. Here's a snippet from the introduction:

"A defining banner hangs over your life, written in the ink of your own choices. We already are women of resolutions.  
So since making resolutions is something we'll do anyway, the question for us to grapple with is not whether we'll ever make any more of them, but whether we're going to be intentional about the ones we do make."

As I read through the introduction and finally made it to the list of resolutions Shirer would be speaking of in the book, tears filled my eyes--right there at my table at Panera. The list of resolutions is my heart expressed in writing. This is the pursuit of my soul--to honor God by walking holiness and growing more into the image of His beautiful Son. 

"These are more than just determinations you make within yourself; they are girded about with the power of the Holy Spirit--encouraging you, comforting you, equipping you with the strength you need to carry them out."   

What must be realized is that the word resolutions evokes a certain twinge in whoever is resolving to do something, so let's get something straight: we can't change ourselves for God. This is not works based but must be Spirit-driven, or results will never last. 

Therefore, our first resolution should be to resolve ourselves to stop trying to do this for God, as if He would be impressed with us for making these commitments, and press on to know Him more fully. 

"Sometimes the greatest miracle of all is the one that happens in your own heart, the change that takes place in you and then surprises you as it filters into the seams and fabric of your whole life."

In the days that follow I'll post different parts of the chapters, including study questions and what God is teaching me through them, in hopes that other women will join me in this journey toward knowing God more fully as we give Him the pen of our lives and relinquish the control we don't have but feel we need. 

The prayer I journaled after reading the intro and resolutions for the first time:

Dear Father,
Help me to not just say (or write) these things, but I ask for Your divine power and equipping to make this a way of life. It can only happen if You allow it, but I know this is Your will because it is according to Your Word, so be honored, please, Lord, as I so desperately want to make You famous with my life. I love You. 

If you've read the book, I would love feedback on your experience so feel free to share what God taught you through it. On the other hand, if you would like to join me in this journey or if something from this blog ever speaks to you, I would love to hear what God is doing in your life, so never hesitate to share. 

In Christ alone,


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Amanda + Jacob's Wedding Video

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV)

The following video displays the most Christ-centered wedding vows I've ever heard. I pray you are encouraged and pushed toward the Lord while you watch as we are given a snapshot of His love for His bride (the church) through the covenant of marriage between Jacob and Amanda.

(Side note: I don't know these people. I found this video on pinterest and cried like a small child watching them pledge their lives to each other in God's beautiful Spirit. I can't help but imagine just how much God will bless them and their marriage, though sure to be plagued with trials as each marriage is, because of their commitment to Him and example to everyone who sees them.)


Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 19 - Battle, Victory, Battle

Victory = the overcoming of an enemy or antagonist; achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties.

Battle = a combat between two persons; a general encounter between armies, ships of war, or aircraft; an extended contest, struggle, or controversy.

Battle and a Victory

Two weeks ago I experienced a huge victory. One where God proved He would fight for me and all I must do is be silent and watch Him work. However, before seeing the victory, the battle was the most intense I'd ever experienced.

I prayed so much over the situation, seeking the Lord for answers to something infinitely bigger than me and asking Him to dissolve my will into His. There was a wrestling of the soul and complete and desperate dependence on the Savior because, again, I didn't know what to do.

Then victory came.

Joy flooded my soul and my eyes leaked as thankfulness washed over me as God so powerfully displayed His sovereignty, faithfulness and beautiful grace, along with radical and overwhelming love.

Another battle

"You're most susceptible to a great defeat after a great victory." 

That quote came to life the past two week as I've struggled in my walk with God ever since the huge victory. I didn't know what was going on, but God (my two favorite words), being rich in mercy because of the great love with which He has loved us, showed me.

I was living in the victory. But the victory was over.

A new day had come (actually, about 13 of them had come at this point) and with it came a new set of challenges, battles and opportunities for me to seek the Savior for victory, but I was too focused on the past to see the need for Him today.

Doesn't that sound ridiculous? It is.

Yesterday in Sunday School our pastor's wife shared how we cannot live on yesterday's blessings, but we must seek the Lord for today. That is exactly what God is teaching me.

I cannot afford to live in yesterday's victory when a war is still going on today.


My prayer for us as believers is that we will see our need for Christ daily and let that need propel us to our knees to pray for help for this day and this hour.

I pray we will be on guard for the attacks of the enemy. He is like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour and he wants to devour our focus, turning it on us, our situations (whether it be a battle or a great victory), or our past, and off Christ. Fight that. Resist him and keep your gaze locked on God (Proverbs 4:25).

Let us not live in yesterday's strength, because yesterday has none. Let us pick up our armor and join back in the fight, remembering the victories and rejoicing in God for them, but boasting only in the cross of Jesus Christ who took our sin so we can experience victory with God.

Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold my right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:23-26 ESV)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 18 - Headlights and the Holy Spirit

As I was driving home Saturday night, taking the back country roads and weaving between farms and admiring the festive homes and lawns decorated with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations, God taught me a lesson.

The truck in front of me wasn't small, in fact, it was one of the biggest trucks I've ever seen. Because of the size, I couldn't see around it and was forced to simply follow the truck the rest of the way home being content to only see this big truck's bumper, tailgate and window and maybe a little bit of light from the sides of his truck.

Speaking of lights, the truck had light ropes that flashed when braking. Like this little gem below.

So classy.
Anyway, I was borderline frustrated with this monstrous vehicle because it made me go a little slower than I would have gone on my own and, again, I could only see his big truck, nothing in the path ahead of us.

That's when it hit me. Not the truck, thankfully, but the realization that this giant of a truck was like the Holy Spirit. 

Sometimes, in our walk with the Lord, you can't see the next hundred steps, but God allows you to see the next one. Sometimes the walk to our destination, our finished product (He's bringing us to completion, you know), is slower than we would like and sometimes He seems to be putting on the brakes for no reason other than He sees further down the road than we can (and that's enough for me to trust Him... at least it is right now in my blog. In reality, it might be different as I'm learning absolute surrender). Therefore, if we're following Him we need to trust Him, He's most likely preventing an accident or wreck that involves deer, trees and Christmas yard decorations. What a mess that would be.

God doesn't say faith is a leap into the dark; it's a leap into the light. The light of God's revelation, God's knowledge.  -Michael Durham    
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." -Psalm 119:105

God doesn't promise us an entire army of people holding flashlights to light our way, or a future of sunshine that shows exactly what's ahead on our weaving road that is our walk with Him. But He does promise to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, which means we see one or two steps ahead--just enough to take the next move in following Him.

He promises grace for this moment and if we're following Him today, He'll lead us exactly where He wants us tomorrow. 


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