25 February 2010

Pray Without Ceasing

Charles Spurgeon on Prayer:
"There are two prayers always worth praying, 'Lord, show me myself,' and 'Lord,
show me thyself.' May both be heard, and you will be well taught of God!"

"We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in His Word, He
intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If He has said much about prayer, it is
because He knows we have much need of it."

"Did not our Saviour say that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” and did he not imply, by that form of expression, that, if they did not pray, they would be sure to faint?"

"A sigh, a sob, is the most you can get out. But a mother would sooner hear her own
child sob than another child sing. There is a music about that dear child’s voice
that moves her heart and touches her spirit. And so the inward moanings of a
broken heart are music in the ears of the Infinite Jehovah, and he accepteth the
sincere prayers of his people, let them be as broken as they may."


Our God is so faithful to hear our prayers, Christ is so gracioust to intercede on our behalf, and the Spirit is so persistent in making our need for it known.

James 5:16b, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
Thankfully, as I am His, Christ's righteousness is mine; and the God of all creation, King of Kings, Lord of Lords knows my heart and hears my prayers!

19 February 2010

Married at the Marriot

"And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh..."


This was our first married Valentines Day, and it was wonderful! Robert and I went to San Diego and stayed downtown at the beautiful Marriot Hotel and Marina. I loved the city (and the fact that it was clean). I loved seeing the lights, and being able to walk everywhere. I loved the whole mood of the town - the tall, sleek buildings, the weather. I loved not going to work. But most of all I loved being with my husband. Being married is pretty much the greatest thing on the earth. What a blessing from the Lord to get to share your life, every day, with the one you love! We could have stayed at the romantic Castaic Inn (which is this hilarious little motel with like an 8"x10" swimming pool, an advertised 27" in-room tv, and a blinking red sigh that says ROMANTIC as you pull into the truck stop that so happens to be our exit off of the 5. It's priceless. You have to see it for yourself.) and had the most amazing time. But, the Lord was so gracious to us in allowing us to stay in such a gorgeous location and enjoy each other to the fullest!

We walked to breakfast. We went shopping. We ate amazing food - a lot of food - too much food! We went to the beach, saw a touch of the olympics, and smiled at each other. I called my mom the day before and just told her how excited I was to get away and just be with the hubs. And she laughed, fully knowing that we really have nothing to "get away" from, but totally understanding how great these special times are!

So, home is certainly where the heart is. I do miss my family and my friends daily, and terribly. But goodness, I sure do love this boy that I married. I am so proud of him and all of his hard work, and so very thankful for all the grace that God has given us.

Lastly, I wanted to add that we have decided to hire Isabell to travel with us, because we are wretched picture takers :)

Grace That Is Greater Than All Our Sins

"When I think about the Lord, how He saved me, how He raised me...it makes me want to SHOUT! Hallelujah!" (shout out LU, Sounds, full-scholarships, and clothing stipend!)

Thinking on the Lord, and the work that He has done and is continuously doing in my life, though, does make me want to shout, "Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! Lord you're worthy...!"

I have been reading and thinking about how great the Lord is and how terrible I truly am. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:14-16, "And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life."

In the past, as I have considered this verse, I always thought that Paul was referring to his previous iniquities and the persecuting of the believers in the early church. But, I was wrong. Paul was referring to the deceitfulness he could see in his own heart. He could not imagine that someone else could be as proud, self-righteous, selfish...fill in the blank, whatever the sins of the heart are. And, I, too, am just beginning to see that in my own life. How could one be as prideful and self-interested as me. On the outside, I seem nice enough, sure. But all my righteousness is as a filthy rag (Isaiah 64:6). My actions, my words, my thoughts, and even my motives are in constant need of God's grace and forgiveness.

But, praise be to God for His unspeakable glory and grace. The Bible teaches that my sin has been entirely paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:14, "For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." What great news. His perfect life, shed blood, and resurrection is sufficient for my past, present, and future sin! "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1. Truly, this is the greatest peace in the life of a believer. Every ounce of God's perfect, holy wrath was poured out on on His Son. At the same time, every act of righteousness performed by Jesus Christ stands in my stead!

The Word of God is so clear - and what a great revelation it is. Satan can attack us and tempt us to look at ourself and enter into a state of condemnation, but he can never diminish the work that Christ did on the cross. The devil tries to steal our joy and make us ineffective for the cause of Christ. Instead, conviction leads us to Christ and the cross. Focusing on His love for us changes our woes into the perfection of the saints. Surely we should not make light of our sin so that grace might abound more (Rom. 6:1). But it is imperative to recognize the forgiveness and grace that comes with knowing the Lord as Savior. Sanctification is ongoing in the life of a believer. Glory be to God, that He gives us the grace to persevere. We are closer to our salvation - future glorification - than we ever have been. To know the Lord and to be perfected by His grace is AMAZING.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

07 February 2010

With this confidence...

So many things...the Lord has been teaching me so so many things.

One of my favorite verses/passages is John 15, when John writes about the joy of abiding in the Lord. I just love that idea of resting in the Lord. Really, what other choice do I have, to fight against His will or to assist Him in accomplishing it in my life - no! But then somehow (flesh nature) I got too comfortable. Not the Paul kind of contentment that is to be emulated in Phil 4:11-13, but the kind where I forgot about verse thirteen - to rely on the Lord who is continuously strengthening me in all things.

Another thing I forgot about was the devil. I have known the Lord since I was almost five! And I love Him, and I love serving Him, and I know that "greater is He that is in me, then he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). But, I moved and I was lonely and I was tired, and I doubted Him that was in me and really started relying on my own strength. Then, Satan saw my weakness, because he knows us, and he attacked. It hurt, and it was hard! It became so much more difficult for me to find joy in the Lord and to take Him at His Word - to be the God that He has said He is and that He has always been. I was so distraught, because I thought that I was too smart to fall for any of Satan’s lies; I started to question things that had always been my greatest confidence.

I cried out to the Lord, but felt like He couldn't hear me. I felt faint and weak and literally wouldn't be encouraged. Thankfully, God is so so gracious and patient! He is good and He is faithful. So, I searched and scoured the Word, begging the Lord for a solace for my soul. I looked to David, the man after God's own heart, who wept before the Lord - to feel His presence (Ps. 42, PS. 139...). Also, Peter. He walked on water and doubted, he was the leader of the apostolic church and he denied the Lord three times. 1 Peter has such an encouragement to me throughout the past few months. For it is faith that endures to the end that saves: Jude 22-24, Hebrews 10:22-23.

In light of all of this, I must gird myself with the armor of God! Ephesians 6 is so specific about the attacks of the devil and the offense that the believers must take against him. My husband so wisely reminded me that Eve, created in moral perfection, fell for the lies of Satan; who am I to think that I am above such temptation (for even Christ was tempted), and I am one full of my fleshly nature, equipped with pride, selfishness, covetousness…!

So, Eph 4:10-17
- Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might – I must continuously rely on the strength of Lord with which His power strengthens me!
- I battle not against flesh and blood, but against the devil, powers and hosts of wickedness… keep in mind Rom. 8:31 “if God be for us, who can be against us”!!
- Gird my waist with truth: without the knowledge of truth, deceit and lies are just a continuous pattern of life, because our hearts are desperately wicked.
- Put on the breastplate of righteousness: salvation, the blood of the Son, His righteousness in my stead!
- Feet shod with the Gospel of peace: the confidence/foundation that my peace is in Christ
- Above ALL the shield of faith which with to quench the fiery darts: those doubt and danger darts – only faith in God to be Who He says He is can satisfy such attacks! This is so crucial, for it is by faith I am saved, and faith that endures to the end!
- Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit: this is the assurance of our salvation, which is certainly under Satan’s attack. And, the Word of God, which is our weapon of revelation, peace, truth, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

With this confidence I stand, humbled.

01 February 2010

For the Sake of Posting

This is a blog that I check every morning. It's encouraging and convicting, and overall really solid and wonderful!


And, Keith and Kristyn Getty Hymns (check them all out)

O For A Heart

Oh for a heart to serve my God
A heart that's ever broken to His will
Oh for a heart to serve my God my King
A heart that's ever delighting Him

Oh that I would be made pure
That I would strive to love Him more
That every work of my hands
Would accomplish all His plans
So that He would be glorified

That I would place no other above
That I would die to lift high my God
That every gift I enjoy
Would always be employed
In the service of my faithful Lord

Keith Getty & Margaret Becker
Copyright © 2002 Modern M Music/Thankyou Music

Lastly, something that is always so encouraging in the battle to take every thought captive:

Phil. 4:8-9
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.