Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Leaving on A Jet Plane....TOMORROW!

I get to visit my family this weekend back in Texas!! I'm really thankful and excited to spend some time with them and meet my newest nephew who is due to be born Friday AM (pictures to come)!! I am blessed by such a gracious Lord, who Loves to give me good gifts that draw me back to Him!

Sing with me:

"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless
Your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all"

(this song happens to be playing in the background right now as I write this post and was finding it very encouraging, wanted to remind you of it! ...what a sweet humble, King we serve and love, who gives grace to the needy and sustains the faint-hearted!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"What is your One Thing?"

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple. (Ps.27:4)

Check out Paul Tripp's blog. Recently I have been reading his blog, and have found it to be most encouraging! Here's a quote from this blog entry from "What is your One Thing?" based off the verse above:

"It's an incredible statement, one that I'm not sure I could honestly make. It's made even more powerful when you realize that it's written by a man who's under attack. His "one thing" isn't safety, or vindication, or victory. His "one thing" isn't power, control, or retribution. No, even under personal duress, the "one thing" that David wishes for is to be in God's house taking in the grandeur and glory of the beauty of the Lord. This desire was designed to be the central motivating desire of every person created by God and made in his image. And yet, this side of the Garden, it seems a statement that could only ever be made by a deeply devout human being.

It does beg the question, "What's your one thing?" What's the "one thing" that your heart craves? What's the "one thing" that you think would change your life? What's the "one thing" that you look to for satisfaction, contentment, or peace? What's the "one thing" that you mourn that you've had to live without? What's the "one thing" that fills your day-dreams and commands your sleepy meditations? What's your one thing?

The spiritual reality for many of us is that that "one thing" is not the Lord. And the danger in that reality is this; your "one thing" will control your heart and whatever controls your heart will exercise inescapable influence over your words, choices, and actions. Your "one thing" will become the one thing that shapes and directs your responses to the situations and relationships of your daily life. If the Lord isn't your "one thing," the thing that is your "one thing" will be your functional lord."

Wow, this hit's so crazy how easily we can make something become our "one thing" in replace of our Lord. I fall into this when I think of the future. I get a little panicky when I start to consider what is to come after I graduate? I realize that I DON'T NEED TO KNOW TODAY what the future is because it's not something I can control or even worry about for today!! I wonder what the Lord has for me...and wonder if the desires I have today are even going to come to pass? Yet, I'm reminded now of I Cor. 2:9 say that we can even imagine what the Lord has for us...because He is that loving towards us! We do know that He desires to conform us into His image for His glory. We know that He will NOT STOP changing us...until He completes what He started in us!

This is encouraging and this is my hope: that the Lord would be my "One Thing", for He alone holds all things and is worthy of all our worship. We were created to worship this King and find our heart's satisfaction in Him alone!

A side note:
Paul Tripp is an author and Biblical Counseling for CCEF in Phili. I'm reading one of his books for my classes this semester, "How People Change".
This book is very practical and helpful in considering our sanctification process and how the Gospel is really that powerful to change us, making us into His image for His glory!

You should read it! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

can you relate?

"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."
-Romans 7:15-25

Saturday, February 2, 2008

a little update

I'm taking a class called Theological Foundations of Biblical Counseling (it's just a fancy title for explaining the importance of looking at God's Word for our final authority for counseling). The first class was this past Thursday from 12pm to 6pm...very intense! I was challenged with what our professor (Dr.Burrelli) taught. This class is going to stretch my thinking and I'm thankful for that.

I want to insert some of my notes from the class (later this week!) because it is helpful to consider the importance of laying the Bible as our foundation in all aspects of life. God's Word is such a grace because it show s us the beauty of Christ and why it was necessary for Him to come and live, die and rise again for our behalf! Praise Him for this great Love He has shown us through the blood of Christ! We are now reconciled to our Father and can approach His throne with confidence believing that He hears our prayers, struggles and joys...based on the righteousness of His Son.

I'm already growing a little weary and it's only the 2nd week of class!! Pray that the Lord would use these classes for His glory and grant me (us all) better understanding of who He is and as a result produce in me (us all) deeper affections for Him alone, through His living Word!! Oh how easily pleased I am and settle for His creation, rather then looking to the Creator! I am marked for eternity because of Christ; this alone should produce in me humble joy of thankfulness in my heart for our loving King! May we be marked as joyful and thankful people because our God is not only Just, but He is the Justifier--Praise God because I got to share this (the Gospel!) with my cleaning lady boss on tuesday, for to all He has called according to His purposes!

The answer for weariness is looking back to the Gospel by mediating on His Word of truth! I started to read the Psalms today because of the hopefulness the Psalmist brings of God's ever-loving help and care for His people. Meditating on God's Word is key in actually remembering it throughout the day, so when you are faced with unbelief you can recall truth that God keeps His covenant with His people and will sustain them!

Psalm 3:2-5

"But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill.
I lay down and slept;
woke again, for the Lord sustained me."