Wednesday, January 31, 2007

God uses my sin

Those times I get frustrated with myself and my sin, I admit to wanting to walk away from it. But there's One thing standing in the way of that, and that's God. I could walk away, but I'd have to push hard. It turns out that the easier thing to do is to ask for forgiveness and repent.

God uses my sin to change my attitude toward others. When I realize how unlovable I must be to Him, I am reminded of how I ought to treat those who I oftentimes consider unlovable.

I mean, I am so beneath God. I cannot even think of it as an infant to an adult. I don't think there CAN be an accurate description. I am completely helpless without Him. Without His grace, I'd be living in the depths of sin, and completely unaware of my condition.

When I avoid discussing Him, or even neglect my time in the Word, I am reminded some days, and then long to be close to Him, to confess, to resolve.

And when I do not feel Him pulling me close to Him, I feel frightened, because I KNOW that I am not where I ought to be. I know my sin must be separating us, so I run to Him, and I search my heart.

I am still far from where I ought to be. But I know that the Lord alone is prodding me to become the woman He would want me to be. and yes, it is scary, because it doesn't fall in line with my own plans, the ones that make me feel "safe" and "secure". But what greater safety or security is there than in God alone??? To be in a plan that He has orchestrated alone? I can't think of anyplace better to be.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Truth

My task on earth is so difficult, because of my humanity. But it is so simple because of the Holy Spirit.

My task is to tell the truth in all things. Humbly accept, and humbly proclaim that Jesus Christ is not only Savior, but Lord. King. Prince. Ruler. Master.

And to proclaim this BECAUSE everyone's life depends on this one fact. One day everything I contend for here on earth will burn away. The job I do is out of obedience, and not out of personal gain.

To show mercy in all things.


The cat is on a diet.

I'm suffering from TMJ soreness after having my jaw jacked into the "open" position for countless hours last week.

My Lord is wonderful! I just wish I had the backbone to stand up for Him more, or have the words ready to say.

Life seems to move so fast, and yet so slowly. As I count the ever-increasing number of grey hairs on my head, I am grateful to have a constant reminder that my life is but a vapor, a mere mist coming off the kettle. I'll die looking like I'm still 30 (just like my grandmother, though she's still alive), but the grey hair will be a constant reminder of the short time I have to do all the good I know I ought to do.

And the suffering experienced on this earth will be nothing compared to the riches to come.

Ahhh, God is good.

Friday, January 26, 2007

co giao ngu ngon

Thursday, January 25, 2007

But today, on the other hand...

I'm just trying to get by without chewing the inside of my face while the novocaine wears off....

And a lot of it was used.

ohhhhhhh, I'm such a baby. No kids for the whiney.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Where I am Today...

Elijah on Mount Carmel

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?"

18 "I have not made trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "But you and your father's family have. You have abandoned the LORD's commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

But the people said nothing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Good thoughts...

I got this off the blog from someone on Good stuff from Tozer.

The Scriptures do not teach that the Person of Jesus Christ nor any of the important offices which God has given Him can be divided or ignored according to the whims of men. Therefore, I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles—the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Savior and we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!
…I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in my early Christian experience and it certainly needs a lot of modifying and a great many qualifiers to save us from being in error. ‘We are saved by accepting Christ as our Savior; we are sanctified by accepting Christ as our Lord; we may do the first without doing the second!’ The truth is that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures….Apart from obedience, there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility. The essence of sin is rebellion against divine authority.
The Bible never in any way gives us such a concept of salvation. Nowhere are we ever led to believe that we can use Jesus as a Savior and not own Him as our Lord. He is the Lord and as the Lord He saves us, because He has all of the offices of Savior and Christ and High Priest and Wisdom and Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption! He is all of these things and all of these are embodied in Him as Christ the Lord.
We have no basis to believe that we can come casually and sprightly to the Lord Jesus and say, ‘I have come for some help, Lord Jesus. I understand that you are the Savior so I am going to believe and be saved and then I am going to turn away and think about the other matter of lordship and allegiance and obedience at some time in the future.’ I warn you—you will not get help from Him in that way for the Lord will not save those whom He cannot command! He will not divide His offices. You cannot believe on a half-Christ. We take Him for what He is—the anointed Savior and Lord who is King of kings and Lord of lords! He would not be who He is if He saved us and called us and chose us without the understanding that He can also guide and control our lives….We have owed Him obedience ever since the second we cried out to Him for salvation, and if we do not give Him that obedience, I have reason to wonder if we are really converted!
(A.W. Tozer, I Call It Heresy! (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1991, pp. 1-13).

Heaven's Coming Down

Another lyric post. This one by the Tea Party. It kind of takes me back ot the years I was in high school, writing poetry as a misunderstood introvert, you know the drill I'm sure. But as I recount my recent travel, I'd have to say that I can identify with some of the lines. Maybe I'm the only one. That's fine. But it reminds me of surrender to a love, a will outside one's own. When Christ knocks you off your horse, so to speak. When He draws you to Himself. And you surrender to the pull, to the call of obedience, to the truth within His Holy Word.


With nothing to do
you'd waste away
obscure in exile
they've witnessed the times
you've gone astray
whose fault?
now you're thinking...
ah,there's nothing to prove
a message from the crowd to the shore...

And it feels now
just like heaven's coming down

So strange are the ways,
they all have changed
still life it stays the same
a break from the past
could make it last
oh, maybe just a little longer
now there's nothing to prove
a message from the crowd to the shore...

And it feel now
just like heaven's coming down
your soul, shakes free
as its conscience hits the ground

You surrender
love under will
rest assured you're adored, oh.

And it feels now
just like heaven's coming down
your soul, shakes free
as its conscience hits the ground
these times, this fate,
takes a path you didn't choose
stay strong, keep faith
there's a change that's coming through
hold on, my love
hold on, my love
hold on, my love
Feels like heavens coming down.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I needed this more, I think

Tomorrow morning I have another exam.

And I haven't studied.

I know I know, I never study. But this time, I REALLY mean I haven't studied. I couldn't put my Bible down yesterday. And today I skipped church to TRY to concentrate. No use.

It's such a beautiful day. I took the bike to the park and rode 28 miles. Not bad for being off the bike for a month.

I pick up the trainer on Wednesday. Time to shed this holiday cheer.

And leave everything in the hands of the Lord. To fail a test. To just retake it. And stop trying to finish life as fast as possible.

Time to start focusing on what is important. Yes, I'll get the license. It may take longer than my initial 18-month projection. I have five years.

So here's to flushing $100 down the drain, and just taking the test.

*deep breath*

But I needed this more, I think.

No subject

Well, sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus,
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus,
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down,
I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

I'm singing hold me Jesus,
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Saturday, January 20, 2007


12Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
13Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.
14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.
16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God. Gal 6:12-16

So, as I'm reading this passage, I'm thinking about the push the church is making in recent years into more socially aware territory.

Is someone looked down upon because he refuses to be pressured into meeting a performance standard for missions?

If you did not participate in a service project this month, is your salvation in question? And I mean merely for the sake of meeting a performance standard, not because it is something one really is led to do.

I see a dangerous thing here. Where one feels almost able to respond quickly with an "area of service" in the church. A defense mechanism in a way. Get out of jail free?

What should our emphasis be? Shouldn't it be to live a holy life? It ought to be to read the gospels and obey them.


Friday, January 19, 2007

For your consideration...

Deuteronomy 32

1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;
hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
5 They have acted corruptly toward him;
to their shame they are no longer his children,
but a warped and crooked generation. [
6 Is this the way you repay the LORD,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator, [
who made you and formed you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you.
8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
when he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
according to the number of the sons of Israel. [
9 For the LORD's portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted inheritance.
10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its pinions.
12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag,
14 with curds and milk from herd and flock
and with fattened lambs and goats,
with choice rams of Bashan
and the finest kernels of wheat.
You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
15 Jeshurun [
d] grew fat and kicked;
filled with food, he became heavy and sleek.
He abandoned the God who made him
and rejected the Rock his Savior.
16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods
and angered him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed to demons, which are not God—
gods they had not known,
gods that recently appeared,
gods your fathers did not fear.
18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 The LORD saw this and rejected them
because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
20 "I will hide my face from them," he said,
"and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children who are unfaithful.
21 They made me jealous by what is no god
and angered me with their worthless idols.
I will make them envious by those who are not a people;
I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
22 For a fire has been kindled by my wrath,
one that burns to the realm of death [
e] below.
It will devour the earth and its harvests
and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
23 "I will heap calamities upon them
and spend my arrows against them.
24 I will send wasting famine against them,
consuming pestilence and deadly plague;
I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,
the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
25 In the street the sword will make them childless;
in their homes terror will reign.
Young men and young women will perish,
infants and gray-haired men.
26 I said I would scatter them
and blot out their memory from mankind,
27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,
lest the adversary misunderstand
and say, 'Our hand has triumphed;
the LORD has not done all this.' "
28 They are a nation without sense,
there is no discernment in them.
29 If only they were wise and would understand this
and discern what their end will be!
30 How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the LORD had given them up?
31 For their rock is not like our Rock,
as even our enemies concede.
32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison,
and their clusters with bitterness.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
the deadly poison of cobras.
34 "Have I not kept this in reserve
and sealed it in my vaults?
35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them."
36 The LORD will judge his people
and have compassion on his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.
37 He will say: "Now where are their gods,
the rock they took refuge in,
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter!
39 "See now that I myself am He!
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand grasps it in judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
while my sword devours flesh:
the blood of the slain and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders."
43 Rejoice, O nations, with his people, [
f] , [g]
for he will avenge the blood of his servants;
he will take vengeance on his enemies
and make atonement for his land and people.


Quickly, I must clarify something...

In John 8:31, Jesus does not say to the Jews who had believed Him, "Congratulations! You are now a member of the family of God!!!!"

No, Jesus said to them, "If you follow my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Does anyone else see a problem here with the way this verse heavily conflicts with the spirit of American Christianity????

Okay, maybe it's just me.

I know it's hard to believe, but...

I no longer see how I or anyone else can merely "coast" into the afterlife on autopilot and expect a favorable outcome. The Christian life demands everything from God, and nothing from ourselves. And if we're still struggling with sin in our lives, we must often wonder why it is that God has left us to struggle on our own. I posit that we are struggling on our own because we refuse to acknowledge that it is our own spiritual insufficiency we are dealing with, and pride by which we refuse to see it. We beat ourselves down for stumbling into error. However, the truth is that if we had not charged ahead into the fray with our wits about us and nothing else, we might have had a chance.

Instead, we ought to tread lightly in places where we know we will never be strong enough without the Lord. For some of us, that may mean every second of every day.

It's that whole "I believe in Jesus, and I'm still going to do this" instead of falling on our knees and saying "Jesus, I'm sorry, I can't believe I'm doing this. Help me do what is right."

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." -John 8:31-32

And what are His teachings? Oh, the four gospels, of course, but the Old Testament as it is illuminated by the four gospels.

And if you have any further doubt:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Obedience. This is something I have only just recently begun to understand as an imperative to the Christian faith. Doing everything without complaining or arguing. Considering EVERYONE else to be better than myself. And not feeling like I'm losing out or being walked all over, because in order to do that, I am NOT having a mind like Christ, or the mind of a servant.

This is how we win them over. We LOVE. Love does not originate as a feeling or emotion. Love originates out of obedience to the Father. I don't know how to explain this. But we have our sights set on the Father, our sin having been taken upon the shoulders of the Lamb. We don't love to be manipulative. We love simply because love elevates others and lowers ourselves. And this is the cross we are to bear. It isn't that difficult, but it is certainly something that is spiritually discerned.

It sure puts a different spin on that book "Boundaries".

On the other hand, we are not to compromise the truth. Jesus didn't want to just get along with and agree with the Pharisees who were spiritually oppressing the people. So I do not want to just get along with the ideologies of those who are spiritually oppressive. Who produce fruit of spiritual blindness in others, while telling them they really can see.

Like those who tried to drive Jesus over a cliff in Luke after He read from the scriptures and proclaimed to them the prophecy had been fulfilled.

I prophet isn't accepted in His hometown. This makes me wonder if America isn't more spiritually blind because we think we've got some sort of edge on who Jesus is. Remember, He grew up with those people in the synagogue. And they were mad that He told them He was the Messiah. How many of us grow up with Jesus, and when He reveals Himself to us we get angry because He isn't the person we grew up believing Him to be???

Oh, this is such a battle every day. It's not just a battle for truth, but a battle for humility. And my muscles barely feel capable of holding up the armor every day. My obedience muscles are out of shape for sure. I wanted marriage or another job... I wanted to control things. Then I wanted what I wanted at work. But that's not how it is supposed to be. How can I expect to win my boss over when I'm not even being obedient to him? When I cannot be trusted? When I act like I can do it better?

Jesus spent so much time of His life on earth simply being obedient. So much that we do not have record of the details. But we know that He was obedient to His earthly parents. This is so important. When He left the carpentry business (I'm assuming that's what He did with His earthly father) it had been after years of obedience to His parents. I doubt He ever rose up against them or corrected them. Part of His ministry was to live out that obedience to them.

Now it's time for me to START living out that obedience. I haven't been for so long. But now it is time to be trusted and counted upon as obedient to those who ask of me what is not unreasonable, even if it is something I don't want to give.

That is love.


Monday, January 15, 2007

I find it interesting....

As I'm researching the emergent church, and other spiritual spin-offs of Christianity, I find myself further out in the boat and away from shore than previously.

I find it interesting that scripture can be interpreted in light of scripture. Granted, I knew that all along, and had you asked me that at age 12, I probably would have responded similarly. I knew. It didn't take a special type of youth service, or a candle light service or a rock concert to explain that to me. I got it.

The Bible is my anchor. Jesus, the Word. It's all the same. I listened to the Psalms this weekend and found my ears pricked at certain points where Jesus appeared. Okay, MANY points. I think the Psalms is more about Jesus than about anything else. I think the Bible is more about sin and redemption than anything else. I dont' think it's about culture (in fact, we often have to do additional anthropological and archaeological research to undertsand the culture). It simply is not there. It simply isn't important. What is important is that the Bible, its message, transcends culture. Sin and the work done at the cross, the resurrection, all of that transcends culture. And it MUST if it is to be effective. The salvation message cannot be affected by culture; it must stand independently of culture. Because if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

So what does it mean to be a Christian? First of all read the Bible and do what it says. And what does it say? Love! And we cannot love when we are dead in our sins. We cannot give God all glory when we are dead in our sins. Those who bantered back and forth about altruism didn't have a clue. And it shows.

We were rescued once and for all. And what must we do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That's all. Believe you're a sinner. Stop trying to do it all yourself. And start building the Kingdom by loving others and dying to self. Consider everything you do an act of love. Love your boss by working hard. Love your parents by respecting them, even in your adulthood. Love your friends by speaking the truth to them. Put others before yourself. Don't sacrifice to be a martyr... sacrifice because of the sacrifice made for you. How do you identify with Christ? By disowning yourself. Not through elaborate appendages to the Christian faith that make what is unseen a bit more tangible.

Indeed, become the least. The janitor is closer to the kingdom of heaven. A child is closer to the kingdom of heaven. And do this not because it will get you in, but because Christ lives in you.

Seriously, let go of the greatest offense you hold. Let go of the least offense.

And read 1 - 3 John.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

O Lord

I feel so small and unable, but that is the way it is supposed to be. I'm sitting here thinking about the small group I'm leading, praying for them and for the words that come out of my mouth. And I'm scared, really.

But what a selfish thing to feel. Fear. For there is nothing to fear here. If the Holy Spirit is at work, what have I to fail at? If I present the Word of God, in all its living and active state, then what more work have I to do?

I refuse to think "there must be a more relevant book out there to teach from." There is nothing more relevant than God's Holy Word.

And yes, I feel weak, but that should not scare me. It should prompt me to pray for the grace in this endeavor. I should not feel shocked, surprised, or even disappointed in myself. I should not fear that God is disappointed because of my fear. Rather, He should be disappointed when I fear and then do not allow that fear to lead me to my knees. Otherwise, I will believe I can do this all on my own, which I know I cannot.

I believe in sola scriptura. And that is what I will speak.

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deut. 8:3


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

How could I have forgotten???

None of the Christian life is possible without the work of the Holy Spirit. We experience a supernatural conversion that is not without supernatural assistance. There's nothing I can do that would make a completely absurd plan of salvation sound any more appealing to me. If I were to do it simply for the sake of its absurdity to begin with, I could come up with a number of salvation solutions. My reasoning is faulty. But for my own mind to be in agreement with the sacrifice made on the cross for me, the amount of forgiveness and grace that such an act demanded, it MUST be the Holy Spirit's work. For I know that when left alone, I would still be trying on doctrines and theology and perhaps religions like a department store junkie.

I can't say it enough, and i can't use enough "pretty words". I don't want to lead anyone into circular reasoning, nor do I want to introduce anything "new" to anyone. I want to impart the truth and the truth alone. I can't add candles or rituals or words to the power of Christ, and the undeniable work of the Holy Spirit.

I suppose I could describe it, but I wouldn't want to lead anyone into a false religion because they looked in the wrong place for something found in the Word of God. So I won't be so careless with my words. I will only say to read the word of God and to do what it says. A wise man told me that, and I can't think of anything more imperative at this time in our lives.

Live for His glory alone.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I'm another year older today.

I'm forgiven of so much more today.

I am learning to love much more greatly.

Here's to being like Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Forgiven of Much

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.
41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[d] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Luke 7:36-50