Thursday, March 2, 2017

If ever I am to die (and it's likely such an ending on Earth as it is is inevitable), may it be said of me: 'She believed in a God that was bigger than herself; that loved greater than she ever could; was insistent such a God was bigger - and more powerful - than any demon, death or beast there ever could be; and she believed this God loved her and all of humanity more than she could ever imagine.'

Monday, December 8, 2014

Abide

A piece by Andrew Murray....


ABIDE 

Abide in Me, and I in YouJohn 15.4

When a new graft is placed in a vine and it abides there, there is a twofold process that takes place. The first is in the wood. The graft shoots its little roots and fibers down into the stem, and the stem grows up into the graft, and what has been called the structural union is effected. The graft abides and becomes one with the vine, and even though the vine were to die, would still be one wood with it. Then there is the second process, in which the sap of the vine enters the new structure, and uses it as a passage through which sap can flow up to show itself in young shoots and leaves and fruit. Here is the vital union. Into the graft which abides in the stock, the stock enters with sap to abide in it.
When our Lord says: “Abide in me, and I in you,” He points to something analogous to this. “Abide in me”: that refers more to that which we have to do. We have to trust and obey, to detach ourselves from all else, to reach out after Him and cling to Him, to sink ourselves into Him. As we do this, through the grace He gives, a character is formed, and a heart prepared for the fuller experience: “I in you,” God strengthens us with might by the Spirit in the inner man, and Christ dwells in the heart by faith.
Many believers pray and long very earnestly for the filling of the Spirit and the indwelling of Christ, and wonder that they do not make more progress. The reason is often this, the “I in you” cannot come because the “abide in me” is not maintained. “There is one body and one spirit”; before the Spirit can fill, there must be a body prepared. The graft must have grown into the stem, and be abiding in it before the sap can flow through to bring forth fruit. It is as in lowly obedience we follow Christ, even in external things, denying ourselves, forsaking the world, and even in the body seeking to be conformable to Him, as we thus seek to abide in Him, that we shall be able to receive and enjoy the “I in you.” The work enjoined on us: “Abide in me,” will prepare us for the work undertaken by Him: “I in you.”
In—The two parts of the injunction have their unity in that central deep-meaning word “in.” There is no deeper word in Scripture. God is in all. God dwells in Christ. Christ lives in God. We are in Christ. Christ is in us: our life taken up into His; His life received into ours; in a divine reality that words cannot express, we are in Him and He in us. And the words, “Abide in me and I in you,” just tell us to believe it, this divine mystery, and to count upon our God the Husbandman, and Christ the Vine, to make it divinely true. No thinking or teaching or praying can grasp it; it is a divine mystery of love. As little as we can effect the union can we understand it. Let us just look upon this infinite, divine, omnipotent Vine loving us, holding us, working in us. Let us in the faith of His working abide and rest in Him, ever turning heart and hope to Him alone. And let us count upon Him to fulfill in us the mystery: “Ye in me, and I in you.”
Blessed Lord, Thou dost bid me abide in Thee. How can I, Lord, except Thou show Thyself to me, waiting to receive and welcome and keep me? I pray Thee show me how Thou as Vine undertaketh to do all. To be occupied with Thee is to abide in Thee. Here I am, Lord, a branch, cleansed and abiding—resting in Thee, and awaiting the inflow of Thy life and grace.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jesus Calms the Storm


23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

This tale of fearful disciples and their protector gives me peace about the burdens which weigh so heavily on my shoulders.

My shortcomings burden me.  
Others' shortcomings discourage me. 
Light? Hope? Seems bleak. 

Without the guidance of scripture, I would be crushed in agony.

Praise God for the Lord Jesus, and the death he took for me. 

Praise God for the Lord Jesus, who stepped between me and the evil one who wars for my soul. 

My protector silences the threats of the evil one. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pride

The roots of pride:
insecurity
disbelief that God has everything in control
fear

The Fruits of pride:
Arrogance
Envy
Stepping on people



To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 8:13

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guarding your heart

I recently read this article on Relevant magazine, and found it very insightful. 

I once ranted about my tendency to "love too much," and how passionate I am about the importance of loving wholeheartedly.

I like to think I'm a loving, sacrificial, caring person. The more I observe my heart, however, the more I've realized that there's a very selfish, insecure girl behind many of my "acts of love." When I look deep down, I see a fear of being taken advantage of, hesitance in giving up my time/money/energy, anticipations about possible misunderstandings and miscommunications. I really don't love wholeheartedly like I should be.

The "guard your heart" lesson has been engrained in my mind, as I grew up and was taught in church. I've taken this little snippet (from Proverbs 4:25) and placed it at the forefront of my mind as I entered new relationships and approached old ones, especially with reservations due to past hurts and "broken hearts."

I believe that I've misinterpreted what whomever wrote Proverbs meant by this phrase. I've seen myself reserving how much I love based off how much care/thanks/service I'm receiving in return. *shudder at my ineffective witnessing*

"Being afraid of wounds from other people might cause us to forfeit the capacity to love. The enemy would like nothing better than to carry Christians to the extreme of isolating ourselves from the world and chaining us with the fears of pain and exposure." 


"If we are simply seeking God, then we entrust Him with our fragile hearts."

zoops. Time to take my eyes off myself. Time to trust God to be my fuel, my portion. How can I make a difference in the lives of others by relaying God's love, if I'm so worried about being hurt by the people He calls me to love?

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love." -1 john 4:18 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

O, my wayward heart


I found this post in a word document I had hovering in the land of my mac desktop, which I probably planned to edit and post. Two months since then, it's amazing to see how negativity can slip under my skin. It finds its way into my life by seeking out a teeny crack, a weak spot. Sooner than later, it ends up invading multiple facets, until every thought you think is a negative one - even toward yourself! Negativity can be a very dangerous thing. So I urge you, friends, kill 'em with kindess! Be a positive influence on others, and let not the negative ones elicit a single negative thought in you. Let every good thought drown out the bad. Everyday is a brand new day; it's never too late to take a deep breath, give and show thanks...


The interpersonal theory  \\03.04.2013\\

Developed by Harry Sullivan, the interpersonal theory is based on the interpersonal complimentary system. In other words, personality is shaped almost entirely by the relationships we have with other people.
Positivity elicits positivity. Negativity elicits a similar response. Dominance elicits submissiveness, and vica versa.

I hate negativity. I understand we all have the need to exercise our ability to hate, grieve, and feel emotions of anger and sadness. Trust me – I believe in a good cry. I believe these passions have a place in our lives, and they have their purposes. However, I am not a fan of dwelling in the negativity when there is a choice to choose otherwise.
           
Philippians 4:8 suggests, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

I’m an advocacy of loving all that elicits good. YES, I want to take every opportunity to let goodness reign. YES, that means I want to put down the negativity. Because I believe life is short and there is no point in wasting any of it by choosing to take the dark road. I want to see the sun shine on the world around me and in me. I want it all to be lit up. I want to see it with a smile on my face and warm sunshine on my skin, because I honestly believe that is how God meant for us to enjoy his creations & blessings. I’d rather be burnt by the harsh rays of the sun than rot in the dampness of the dungeons.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

If it keeps me from knowing, revering and rejoicing in the fact that I have eternal life because of my savior, Jesus, I want to eradicate it from my mind, heart, soul.

Call it innocence
Call it naivety
Call it foolishness

But I don’t believe this is so,
For righteousness will win. The truth always wins in the end. I refuse to give any portion of myself to the negativity. There’s no point. I believe it’s sin that keeps me from enjoying God, and I believe the sin lurks in the darkness. I refuse to choose that path.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

trinity.

My identity is found in God.

From the Father, who is holy and just,

given to me by grace through Jesus Christ,

and lives in me through the Holy Spirit.

"You also were included in Christ, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14


I realize I pray a lot to the "Father", and end every prayer "in Jesus' name," but not very often do I address the Holy Spirit. In different times throughout Bible history, the 3 parts of the trinity are highlighted. For me, God the Father and God the Son are a little easier for me to grasp in my mind. At a very young age, "God the Father" simply made sense to me. Big God who was always there, created the world and everything was good. In fact, that was the only way I understood Him. As I grew a little more in my faith and learned about a God who would redeem me from my sins, I began to understand God as the Son. Loving God who came to be persecuted, sacrificed, who gave a perfect life so that our sins may be forgiven and our souls redeemed. That's when I heard and believed "the gospel." That's when I was saved.

but that Holy Spirit part...what a mind-boggle!

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.." John 14:16-19

(^tell me Jesus is not the biggest troll known to mankind.)

Wha-?? No wonder it's so hard for me to grasp - I'm human! I live in a world where everything has to be tangible & understood in order to be real. To understand a "Spirit of truth" that lives in me, is stamped on me like a seal, and cannot be taken away from me without my permission? Of course it's not going to be something I can explain in human terms, or even fully understand with my little human mind.

However, I do believe it with my God-given soul.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
 ^John Piper on "How the Spirit helps us understand"


What does the Holy Spirit mean to you?