Sunday, August 30, 2009
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do....... As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:14-19, 26
I am convicted. Again. I read this post on Katie's blog and sat and cried as I read her words. The need in this world is SO GREAT. And my selfishness and fear is huge as well. I look at Katie's life and part of my heart cries out Yes Lord THAT is what I desire for my life. And another part of heart says that someday I can help. Someone else will do this work. WHY?!! Why do I sit comfortably here in my life, going from place to place, spending money here and there. Why do I wait for someday or sometime?!!
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." I read the statistics, I feel Katie's sorrow, passion, and brokeness radiating off the computer screen, and I read this verse and ask myself what it means. How am I to live this out? I'm actually scared to put this post on my blog because then it's out there. I'm acknowledging that I need to do more. I need to step out of my comfort zone and be the hands and feet of Jesus right where I'm at. I'm disgusted with my selfish heart. I'm ashamed to see all the opportunities to serve and give that I've passed up simply because it would require some small sacrifice on my part.
But that's not the end....
I have a God who loves the orphan and widow more than I ever can. I have a God who loves me more than anyone ever will. I have a God who offers mercy and forgiveness more than I could ever ask for. I am a work in progress, a piece of work being constantly refined by the Master's hands.
"....being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. " Philippians 1:6
This is my hope- that God will redeem those times that I've chosen selfishly and that the next time I'm presented with a chance to serve, to give, to live out my faith I will joyfully choose to be a blessing. After all my Jesus has done for me, how could I choose any other way??
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This morning, while grocery shopping I received a phone call from our agency. They had just received word that Ch*na was troubled by the length of time it has taken for our paperwork to get to Immigration, thus they are withdrawing their acceptance of us as Jubilee's parents. Meaning, we no longer have permission from Ch*na to adopt Jubilee.
I asked our agency what do we do now and they said, "We don't know. Ch*na has never done this before." Of course it hasn't.
Hence, we turn to the Almighty-God of the Universe, who we refer to as the Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God....He is the ONLY one able to move this mountain.
Would any of you be willing to pray and/or fast with us tomorrow, Thursday, August 26, 2009? Please pray for Jubilee's protection as well. There is no doubt that things are going on in the supernatural.
PS Please ask any prayer warrior or prayer chain to pray - please? And feel free to post it on your blog."
1 : that cannot be described
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:10
Monday, August 24, 2009
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I, whom you have redeemed.
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
True JOY comes straight from the heart of God. It is a gift that He gives us- the ability to be joyful always. I've had the song "Holy is the Lord" by Chris Tomlin in my heart today and have just been reminded that the Lord is truly my joy and delight.
Tricia McCary Rhodes says, "God did not make man for duty or drudgery or even ordinariness. He created Him for joy. Joy is our jubilant response to the presence of the living God who has made His home within our souls."
Is that not beautiful?? I long for my life to be an expression of joy, a response to the presence of the living God within me. I long to delight in my Savior, for Him to be the only one that brings me joy and contentment regardless of how life is going and what bumps are in the road ahead.
Father, you are the Giver of life, and the Creator of JOY. You are a Holy God, a faithful Provider, an outpouring of more mercy and love than I can comprehend. Please help me to respond with joy each and every day. Help me to delight in You alone, Jesus.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I miss this beautiful country.
I miss this precious girl.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The first day of the school year was absolutely fabulous. I have been blessed with a GREAT babysitting job with 2 kids i absolutely LOVE. And I'm enrolled in FANTASTIC Spanish class and I'm SO excited to be learning, listening, and speaking in Spanish again!!
I am PRAISING God that it went well, and I am hopeful that this year is going to be a great one.
If we had stayed with what I thought was the plan, I would be a freshman in college this year, since I was going to graduate a year early.
But God had other plans. And even now, less than a year after we decided for me to graduate at the usual time, I see that His plan was better.
This year will have some unique challenges and lessons, but I know that He has things to teach me.
I'm excited to learn and grow, both in school and in the knowledge of my Savior.
So on that note, goodbye summer. I learned many many things, discovered many things about myself, found out that I'm not a huge fan of working 5 days a week during summer break lol, and was presented with experiences that both grew and shook me, but it was good. The season of summer has gone, and it's time for a new season.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Today, as I try to comprehend this world, and wrestle over why so many children are without families, I cling to the hope that every little girl is a daughter of the King, a Princess. He holds them in His arms and dances with delight over them though they have no earthly father to do so. He sings with joy when He watches them and holds their precious faces in His hands, He sees each tear that they cry, hears each whisper of their heart.
Father, what a beautiful thing that I can call you that. Thank you for Your saving grace, your adoption of me as your daughter. I am so thankful that I am Yours. I am so thankful that each neglected child is Yours, that You have claimed them as Your own from the beginning of time. I wish I could take every orphan, every hurting child into my home. My heart is breaking with each thought that I have of them. There are too many, this problem too huge for me- but I KNOW that it is not too big for You. I trust in You, Jesus, that You hear their cries, that You hear my cry for mercy on these children. You have greater things planned, if only we seek your face and trust You. What You ordain is good and perfect and your promises are true!
Yesterday morning Kristen, her mom, my mom, and I went to a tea room together in a nearby town. It was an adorable little house covered in vines (is anyone else humming the Madeline song now?!). They had transformed the house into this store, and the tables were placed amongst the store. It was fun to get all dressed up (they give you tiaras to wear once you get there lol) and to experence something like this!!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
what is man that you are mindful of him,
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
I've been challenged.... to make my life pleasing to the Lord.
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is likea tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked!! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
THerefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish."
I've been encouraged....
"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken."
I've been reminded...of how absolutely amazing God is.
"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Youhave set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise .
Because of your enemies, to silence the offender and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place, what is man mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the havenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet;
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth."
Why is it that I always underestimate the power of God?? When I read these Psalms I think to myself, "Why do I EVER have disbelief?? Why do I EVER doubt God's power?? He is amazing and more gracious than I will ever be able to understand.