Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Once Again!

I can't believe it is Thanksgiving again already. I think Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year... great food, lots of fun... football, and giving of thanks. I find that giving thanks blesses me far more than I can imagine it blessing the person I'm thanking. When I start thinking of all the blessings that He has poured out on me through an individual or situation, my heart overflows with joy. Just off the top of my head, these are some of the things I am thankful for in this last year.

He did an incredible work for me to find favor in the eyes of several instructors so that they graciously made a way for me to graduate last December. He has given me a good job... not one I see myself in for forever, but He has graciously allowed me to remain there until I move on. He has given me an amazing family... I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up without a dad and mom that both seek to honor Him and teach me to do the same. He opened the doors for me to play team handball on the national team... so undeserved, but clearly His blessing. He has continually changed my heart through His Word and the teaching of Pastor Tim. He has given me the opportunity to serve Him with music at church and elsewhere... something I absolutely love to do! He has brought so many godly friends into my life to encourage me in the Lord. He has forgiven my sins! He remains faithful when I am faithless! He pursues and guides my heart. He gives me only His very best for me. He gives infinite mercy and grace. He graciously gives me a lack of peace when I am not walking closely with Him. He freely grants perfect peace when I rest in the shadow of His wings. He has blessed me with life and breath. He has given me eyes to see just glimpses of His majesty. He has given me ears to hear and enjoy the praises of His people. He has given me a mouth to sing and proclaim His praises. I could go on forever. He is so good!!! Thank You, Lord!

I pray that this thanksgiving was a blessing to you as it was to me. I know that the world is not exactly how we would like it to be at the moment, but God has blessed us in so many ways. We must give thanks with all our hearts (Psalm 138:1).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Missing Your Ax?

God has continually been faithful in providing what we need. He is so faithful and good. The Lord convicted me the other day that I was not getting involved in people's lives how I ought to be. I let myself get busy and used that as an excuse to neglect my responsibility to both disciple and be discipled. Really looking forward to spending some time weekly in prayer with a good friend of mine! I find it amazing that when God convicts, He always has a perfect opportunity right there for me to apply it. I am so thankful for His faithfulness to me. I was reading in 1 John 5 this evening. Verses 18-21 really stuck out to me.
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

The reality is that we are in a spiritual battle. It's not like we are just living life battling our flesh. Yes, we are battling our flesh, but there is a very real spiritual battle out there. It's the battle for our loyalty. So, I ask you... have you been using your ax lately? I didn't say Axe... although I hope you use deodorant. ;) I mean, have you been chopping down your idols? Honestly, I think my ax has been hidden in the garage somewhere these last couple of days. I so much need it to be sharpened by the Word of God and used without restraint to cut down anything in my life that exalts itself against the one true God. If you (like me) haven't spent quality time in the Word in these last couple days, don't delay. It doesn't take long before our ax gets hidden away. We need His Word to transform us each and every moment of every day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stand and see... go out and fight!

I think I will officially stop making excuses about life being busy. I think you can just assume that from now on. ;) God has been good! There are so many things that He has blessed me with lately... Bible study at Cal Baptist has been a continual blessing, leading the church choir has been a great blessing and growing experience... so much fun to sing to the Lord in harmony, I have been learning a good amount with these online classes that I'm taking, the Rebelution forum team has continually blessed and encouraged me, etc. He is so good! There are many challenges in life right now, but it is definitely a time of growth in my heart. I am excited about what He is doing even though I really don't fully understand what He is doing. I was reading 2 Chronicles 20 this evening as I was thinking of a passage that was applicable to both waiting on Him and to doing what He has called me to do. Take a look at verses 3-4 and 14-18.
Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD ... Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's. 'Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 'You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem ' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you." Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.

What I need most is to fully turn to Him as the source of all that I need. The battle belongs completely to Him. It's a mystery that He calls us to "stand and see the salvation of the Lord" at the same time that He calls us to "go out to face them". I may not know the details in how He will work everything out, but I am confident that I will end up face down before the Lord, worshiping Him.