Category Archives: thoughts

Life at a standstill

…or should I say ‘blogging at a standstill’? This past week as been has been one of those weeks where life just gets put in perspective things seem to stand still. Last weekend one of my dear friends lost her baby boy. She was 8 months pregnant, and it was a shock to us all. But through this extremely difficult time we have seen the comfort, grace, and strength that God gives to His children when the most difficult things of life happen. Through the pain, God is here. And we know that my friend’s sweet baby boy is with our God. He will never know the pain and sorrow of this life; He’ll only know the joys of heaven! He is already beholding the face of Christ!… and we look forward to the day that we will join him and the other precious ones that have gone before us!

“There Will be a Day” by Jeremy Camp-

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel your walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone

Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing….

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day, He’ll wipe away the stains, He’ll wipe away the tears, He’ll wipe away the tears…..there will be a day.

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a heart of worship

I love rainy days when I don’t have to go anywhere! Yesterday, I was running around all day long, but today I’m working from home! I usually have music in the background when I edit, but not when it’s raining! I love hearing the sound of the rain! It’s the perfect background… and might I add, goes nicely with a cup of coffee or hot tea 🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve written some of thoughts and the things I am learning. So, I just wanted to take a few minutes and write about having a heart for worship (worship of the triune God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). This week I have been preparing to lead worship for a women’s conference this weekend. As I have been preparing, the Lord has been moving in my own heart as I pray He will in the lives of the women this weekend.

As I was deciding which songs to pick, my desire in worship was to sing songs that are centered on Christ and the gospel; to really focus on WHO God is, what He has done through the gospel, and what our appropriate response to Him is- both in worship through song and with our lives. As we’ll be hearing about our purpose in life and then about being equipped to live life in a way that honors God, I think it is appropriate to focus our hearts on the One who has created us, saved us, and given us a purpose, the One who can equip us to live our lives for Him.

Yesterday, as I was practicing the songs, I was completely overwhelmed with the goodness and grace of God! I am a sinner and deserve punishment; but through the love of the Father, and the death of Christ, sin and death were defeated! I have been completely forgiven, and completely made new. In the same moment I found myself heartbroken over my sinfulness and overjoyed at the love and grace of God who has saved me completely from my sins! The truths of the gospel and character of my God should be changing the way I think and live every day- should be fueling me, so that my life is filled with joy in knowing Christ and sharing His goodness with those who do not know Him. But I so often forget to focus on the gospel and my great God, and I live self-focused and without joy. I know and believe the gospel, but ironically, I so often forget it! So, I want to recommit to focusing my mind and heart on Christ and the gospel- and I believe this will be fuel for my heart to worship!

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When Trials Come

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some thoughts from my heart. My heart has been heavy lately as I have some friends who are going through various difficulties in life. I’ve been so encouraged by the lyrics of this song by the Gettys. I love the reminder of the nearness and goodness of God despite what life’s circumstances may bring. I love the challenge to run to the cross when I am weary, seeing its victory over all sin, death, and pain. And I love the hope of our inheritance in a renewed heaven and earth.

When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know Your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow

I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good

When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the cross
So in it’s shadow I shall run
Till He completes the work begun
Till He completes the work begun

One day all things will be made new
I’ll see the hope You called me to
And in your kingdom paved with gold
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old

Keith & Kristyn Getty
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

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happy easter

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Why is Easter Happy? I like spring colors, easter candy, easter egg hunts with children, and special time with family; but for me, Easter is happy for another reason. Because I am a believer in Jesus Christ, Easter is happy becuase it is the ultimate celebration of life. Though Christ was tortured and crucified, he did not stay in the grave. Three days later, He was risen to life again. He defeated death!- not only his own death, but sin and death and everything evil. That’s why He hung on that cross, to bear the weight of the punishment of sin- not His sin, for he was perfect. He bore our sins, our punishment! And His resurrection proved that He was indeed the Messiah, and that He had power and victory over sin and death. It is this power and victory that He extends to us. The Bible teaches that just as He rose from the dead, one day all who believe in Him will also be risen from death to life- eternal life. And just as we watch the blooms of Spring come to life from what had previously been dead, we live knowing that one day, we, and all of creation, will be made new. But until then, we continue to live in a world where sin and death are present, where people are in pain and enduring difficult circumstances. So, we live waiting and hoping in that day where we too will rise to be made perfect and complete in our God, free from pain, sin, sickness, and death. But we don’t merely wait and hope. By trusting in the risen Christ, we know the newness of life here on earth. The ‘one day’ promise is already a present reality in our hearts and lives. Our God is the God of both heaven and earth, and so we are His ‘heaven and earth’ people. We live on this earth, but we have been given a place with Christ in the heavenlies (eph. 2). We have physical, earthly bodies, but we have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us. We face physical death, but in Christ, we have already been rescued from sin and death. These great truths make the celebration of Easter happy indeed!

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because He loves me

book I have been so encouraged by this book lately! I was supposed to have had it read for a class at church last week. Well, I was a bit of a slacker, and only started reading it last week.  So, I’m not even half way through it yet, but it is already such an encouragement to me. I am already planning on re-reading it as soon as I finish it. The main point of the book is that a knowledge of the great love of God for us will lead to lives that are transformed every day. The truths of the gospel (that unfortunately can become so common place for Christians) should be intersecting with our lives on a daily basis reshaping the way we think, live, and respond to circumstances. John 3:16 should be fuel for me, not a verse that represents old news or elementary truths.

There are so many excerpts I’d like to give you (and you’ll probably see more). Here’s one I read today.

“Many people struggle with feelings of condemnation and guilt today because they’ve never really understood what Jesus did for them on Calvary. They think that their relationship with God is predicated on the fact that they’re not really all that bad, and then they wonder if God still loves them when they struggle with ongoing sin. They wonder if they were ever really his. They don’t see the depth of the sin that Christ bore in their place and so they can’t comprehend the righteous fury he withstood for them nor the riches of the grace they’ve been given. I’m encouraging you now to fully embrace your sinfulness for one simple reason: so that you can fully embrace this great exchange, our ‘justification’.”

As Jesus hung on the cross He prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”(Luke 23.34). That is how great Christ’s love is- that while on the cross, He would ask the Father to forgive those very men who were crucifying Him. God’s love and forgiveness covers the greatest of sins and the greatest of sinners. Yet I often forget that this love and forgivess is mine and covers me, and that my identity is now found in the One who is righteous and perfect and sinless, Jesus. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8.1)!

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the steady tread

I’ve been very encouraged this week by some thoughts on Luke 21.34-48. In N.T. Wrights’s commentary of this passage, he reflects on Christianity a generation after Jesus said the words of these verses, and then our own generation. Here’s what he says-

“The answer is the same for us as it was for the Jerusalem Christians nearly a generation after Jesus. Keep alert. This is what you were told to expect. Patience is the key. Pray for strength to keep on your feet. There are times when your eyes will be shutting with tiredness, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical, and when you will have to prop them open. This is what it’s about: not an exciting battle, with adrenalin flowing and banners flying, but the steady tread, of prayer and hope and scripture and sacrament and witness, day by day and week by week. This is what counts; this is why  patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Read the story again. Remind one another of what Jesus said. and keep awake.”

Whether I experience a difficulty today, or just the daily grind of life, I am encouraged to persevere, to be patient, to be on guard, to engage in ‘the steady tread’ of a life of obedience, faith, and hope. I am encouraged to breathe in the truths of the scriptures and then live them out in my day and to others. I am encouraged to pray. I am encouraged to hope in the day when Christ returns and all is made right, when we are tired no more.

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getting settled

After traveling for the holidays to visit both of our families, then coming home to finish packing and move into our new home, we’re finally getting settled in. Unpacking has been a process (which we’re not completely done with), but it has been very enjoyable to make this place feel like our home. From the first evening we were in our new house, it felt like home to us. This is such a blessing for me. I had doubts about the bliss of a new home, fearful that we would miss all the space we had in our last place. But other than a couple very small things, I haven’t missed anything about our previous home. We went back to clean it after we had moved out, and it just felt like a big, empty space. I wasn’t attached to it at all anymore. I realized then that so much of a place is what you make it. The more we get our stuff unpacked and arranged how we like it, the more personal touches we add to the space, and everyday that the two of us live here together, the more we love our home. Though our possessions and our house are just things and are not amazingly valuable in light of eternal things, there is something special about a home- I’m not talking about renting vs. owning or a house vs. and apartment- but that space which has been provided for you to live in with those you love. This has been provided for me, yet at the same time I have been given responsibility to take care of it, to make it comfortable and inviting, to be a place of rest and peace, of joy and good times, of love and service.

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