Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Laura and Chey- Sisters- Thank you for showing me how to be a woman who loves Jesus as her only passion. I will forever look up to you two as spiritual leaders in my life. And secretly I do want to be like you when I grow up.
Audrey, Anna, Maria, Rachel, and Kim- Little Girls- Thank you for journeying with me and experiencing Jesus with me. You guys helped me form a foundation of the basics in Christianity...praying, reading the word, etc. I will forever remember all of the times we've had together at the girls' nights. You guys are the best! (Sorry Kim, I don't have a recent pic. of us. You're still loved though!!)
Hope and Brittany- I don't know what I would have done or where I'd be now if you guys hadn't come into my life in college. You guys are true friends through and through; always ready to give of yourself for others. Thank you for the many times that you helped me delay doing school work for a doughnut/gil. night. You both are amazing. Thank you for showing me how to love Jesus more.
Mazvita- You get your own category because you are unique. Thank you for talking with me all of those late nights. Thank you for sharing your heart with me and being vulnerable with me. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and discernment. Thank you for letting me watch you grow in the Lord, in the painful times and the happy times. (I am so excited for you and Ben!)
Laura. Chey. Audrey. Anna. Maria. Rachel. Kim. Chelsea. Hope. Brittany. Mazvita. Thank you for being godly women of faith. Thank you for trusting in the Lord with seemingly unwavering faith. Thank you for loving Jesus and depending on Him even through the toughest of situations. Thank you for always trusting that the Lord has a plan and purpose for your life, and for my life. Thank you for clinging to Jesus and hiding yourself in Him. You've left a mark on my life forever. You are true friends. Thank you for being selfless and giving yourself fully to God and to people. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. You are all such amazing, beautiful women.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Verses 1-7 When Cain was born, Eve said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. Perhaps she thought that this was the promised seed. If so, she was wofully disappointed. Abel signifies vanity: when she thought she had the promised seed in Cain, whose name signifies possession, she was so taken up with him that another son was as vanity to her. Observe, each son had a calling. It is the will of God for every one to have something to do in this world. Parents ought to bring up their children to work. Give them a Bible and a calling, said good Mr. Dod, and God be with them. We may believe that God commanded Adam, after the fall, to shed the blood of innocent animals, and after their death to burn part or the whole of their bodies by fire. Thus that punishment which sinners deserve, even the death of the body, and the wrath of God, of which fire is a well-known emblem, and also the sufferings of Christ, were prefigured. Observe that the religious worship of God is no new invention. It was from the beginning; it is the good old way, jeremiah 6:16 . The offerings of Cain and Abel were different. Cain showed a proud, unbelieving heart. Therefore he and his offering were rejected. Abel came as a sinner, and according to God's appointment, by his sacrifice expressing humility, sincerity, and believing obedience. Thus, seeking the benefit of the new covenant of mercy, through the promised Seed, his sacrifice had a token that God accepted it. Abel offered in faith, and Cain did not, hebrews 11:4 . In all ages there have been two sorts of worshippers, such as Cain and Abel; namely, proud, hardened despisers of the gospel method of salvation, who attempt to please God in ways of their own devising; and humble believers, who draw near to him in the way he has revealed. Cain indulged malignant anger against Abel. He harboured an evil spirit of discontent and rebellion against God. God notices all our sinful passions and discontents. There is not an angry, envious, or fretful look, that escapes his observing eye. The Lord reasoned with this rebellious man; if he came in the right way, he should be accepted. Some understand this as an intimation of mercy. "If thou doest not well, sin, that is, the sin-offering, lies at the door, and thou mayest take the benefit of it." The same word signifies sin, and a sacrifice for sin. "Though thou hast not done well, yet do not despair; the remedy is at hand." Christ, the great sin-offering, is said to stand at the door, revelation 3:20 . And those well deserve to perish in their sins, that will not go to the door to ask for the benefit of this sin-offering. God's acceptance of Abel's offering did not change the birthright, and make it his; why then should Cain be so angry? Sinful heats and disquiets vanish before a strict and fair inquiry into the cause.
Verses 8-15 Malice in the heart ends in murder by the hands. Cain slew Abel, his own brother, his own mother's son, whom he ought to have loved; his younger brother, whom he ought to have protected; a good brother, who had never done him any wrong. What fatal effects were these of our first parents' sin, and how must their hearts have been filled with anguish! Observe the pride, unbelief, and impenitence of Cain. He denies the crime, as if he could conceal it from God. He tries to cover a deliberate murder with a deliberate lie. Murder is a crying sin. Blood calls for blood, the blood of the murdered for the blood of the murderer. Who knows the extent and weight of a Divine curse, how far it reaches, how deep it pierces? Only in Christ are believers saved from it, and inherit the blessing. Cain was cursed from the earth. He found his punishment there where he chose his portion, and set his heart. Every creature is to us what God makes it, a comfort or a cross, a blessing or a curse. The wickedness of the wicked brings a curse upon all they do, and all they have. Cain complains not of his sin, but of his punishment. It shows great hardness of heart to be more concerned about our sufferings than our sins. God has wise and holy ends in prolonging the lives even of very wicked men. It is in vain to inquire what was the mark set upon Cain. It was doubtless known, both as a brand of infamy on Cain, and a token from God that they should not kill him. Abel, being dead, yet speaketh. He tells the heinous guilt of murder, and warns us to stifle the first risings of wrath, and teaches us that persecution must be expected by the righteous. Also, that there is a future state, and an eternal recompence to be enjoyed, through faith in Christ and his atoning sacrifice. And he tells us the excellency of faith in the atoning sacrifice and blood of the Lamb of God. Cain slew his brother, because his own works 1 john consequence of the enmity put between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, the war broke out, which has been waged ever since. In this war we are all concerned, none are neuter; our Captain has declared, He that is not with me is against me. Let us decidedly, yet in meekness, support the cause of truth and righteousness against Satan.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sometimes life is just normal; nothing new is happening, nothing tragic, nothing overly exciting, just the same ol' same ol'. Laundry, cleaning, going to work, hanging with friends, church, movies, reading, eating...the ins and outs of life. Its like for a moment in our lives, life plateaus, no ups or downs but all is constant. stagnant. Yet, still moving forward.
I think during these times its the hardest to TRUST. Its hardest to LOVE. to find REST and COMFORT. Hardest to SIT and BE with the Lord. It feels like life has stopped. We lose our purpose. We lose our drive. We feel normal. We feel mundane. I mean, we are aren't doing anything spectacular. So we must not be anything spectacular, right?
WRONG! We're letting life and the things we do define who we are, define our self worth and our importance in this world. The reality is that the Lord defines who we are. He has given us purpose, even in the mundane, "go therefore and make disciples...teaching them to observe all I have commanded you..."
Lean upon Jesus when life seems meaningless. He will give you purpose; Jesus becomes the focus. Be faithful in the little things. Walk one step at a time. Trust in Him because even the mundane can be beautiful, full of meaning, and full of life.
the dirt. the smell. the heat. the smiles. the kids. the songs. the noises. the drums. the animals. the w.c. the bucket baths. the bugs. the skirts. the flip flops. the truck rides. the roads. the rice. the peanut sauce. the beggars. the widows. the cokes. the market. the moto. the tanties. the pace. the friendships. the language. the mornings. the evenings. the soccer matches. the harvest. the millet. the rain.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
" Worship is our response both personal and corporate to God for who He is and what He has done expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live." -Louie Giglio
Worship starts and ends with God. As we recognize His worth our natural response is worship.
"O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength ,Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O Lord , our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8
Worship is recognizing His worth; Who He is.
"Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing." Isaiah 40:26
"Who is like the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children." Psalm 113:5-9
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who had first given to Him that it might be paid back again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things." Romans 11:33-36
Worship is recognizing His worth; What He has done and is doing.
"Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:8
"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1 John 2: 2
"O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night," even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You." Psalm 139: 1-12
When we recognize God's worth all we can do is express the deep emotions in our hearts. This expression comes in various ways; we "shout joyfully to the Lord," break forth and sing," "clap your hands," "bow low and worship," "fall prostrate before Him who sits on the throne," "cast their crowns before the throne," "kneel before the Lord our maker," ect.
Our attitude expresses our worship to God, with joy, thanksgiving, awe, gratitude, and humility.
We worship God in spirit and truth. "To worship God in spirit requires that we be alive on the inside, experiencing the life He gives by spiritual birth. Without His life, you can never truly worship. And to worship in truth means to worship God as He really is, bringing more than our words, but bringing words amplified by an authentic life that flows from being spiritually remade within." -Louie Giglio
Our actions, expressions, and attitudes in worship should be "amplified by an authentic life that flows from being spiritually remade within." I LOVE that! Worship is the lifestyle that you choose when you see God as He truly is, in all of His glory, splendor, and majesty. All you can do is honor Him and praise Him for who He is and what He's done. All you can do-must do- is give Him everything you have through a life of service to Him and to those around you.
"Its not the words I sing, but me I bring; I'm the offering laid at your feet, My steps the melody, oh so sweet, All of me in praise of Thee."