Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

On diapers and justification

I just read a great post over at The Greenhouse. Here's an excerpt from the whole article:
It's funny how some people talk about diaper changing as though it involved swallowing slimy grubs. It really doesn't bother me in the least. I've always found it to be a fun time to bond with my babies, talking to them, tickling them, kissing on their feet (until they learn to walk). It's satisfying to tend to someone else's most basic needs. Babies' helplessness is one of the things that makes them most endearing at times. What could be more of an act of service than taking a small stinky person who can't make themselves clean and offering them a fresh start in a nurturing way? After all, Christ does that for us daily...

From Theopedia
Justification: "Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is reckoned to the sinner so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous under the Law (Rom. 4:3; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; 3:11)." -CARM

"Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ's righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight." - Wayne Grudem

"It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." -Romans 4:24-25

To quote my dad: "God's deal is that He treated Jesus, who was innocent, as if He were guilty, so that He can offer to treat us, who are guilty, as if we were innocent. It's a pretty good deal, and we ought to take it."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thirty-eight...sigh...

I've been taking a blogging break for a few days and I'll be continuing it for a few more since I'm in Oregon visiting my family for my birthday! This is birthday season around here with my birthday today (the 19th), my brother's on the 22nd, and my dad's on the 23rd. My mom's is two weeks later on March 9th. Quite a flurry of activity! I'm having a good time. See you when I get back.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The omnipotence of our God

Last night I watched a Chonda Pierce video. She read a great scripture from The Message Bible. I looked it up in mine version and started reading. Great stuff there in Jeremiah! I'm sharing the Scripture as she read it and also a couple others that stuck out to me last night.

"The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be."....God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!
Jeremiah 17:9,10,14 (The Message)

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)


"Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, 'Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'"
Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NASB)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Overheard

At the store last night:

College-age guy with a cartload of dorm-stocking stuff: "I need to get a toilet brush wand thingy."

His Mom:
"Goodness, just get a glove and a sponge."

College-age guy:
"I don't know, Mom, that kinda creeps me out."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Glimpsing eternity on the way to the store

On the way to the store today I heard a couple of songs back to back on the radio. They are both great songs and really ministered to me today. The first one was In Christ Alone by Michael English. I think he wrote it as well. I found it on YouTube today sung by someone else, Brian Littrell. It sounds pretty good so I'm including it in this post.

The second song was You Raise Me Up by Selah. Music written by Rolf Løvland, lyrics by Brendan Graham. This is SUCH a beautiful song and I've been enjoying ever since it hit the Christian radio station. I found a YouTube video with Selah singing it so I'm including it too.

Click on the triangle in the bottom left corner of the video screen to play. Don't click on the triangle in the center, it will take you right to YouTube.


IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I've been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand

In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone will I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
Only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
Now I seek no greater honor
Than just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses
To the glory of the Lord




YOU RAISE ME UP
When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.


Be blessed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Teething at 3 am

I'm very tired today. Monday night, Abby was up from about 1:30 am to 4 am maybe longer, I can't remember anymore. Last night was a little better but I'm still waaay short on sleep. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. She was still screaming after I nursed her. Hungry for solid food? Here's cheese cubes and pears. She ate it. Still crying. Gas? Here's gas drops. Still crying. How about Tylenol? Here it is. She finally went back to sleep around 4 am or so. I don't really know what worked since I did so many different things. Perhaps it was just sheer exhaustion! Yesterday I determined that she is probably getting a new tooth. She has a big lump on the top gum behind the other teeth she has, so.... it's just so hard when babies can't tell you what's wrong. I hate the guessing game. So last night we kept her dosed up on Tylenol and the night went much better. I'm still tired tho'. It's hard to be patient with my kids when I'm this tired. I know it's a choice though, so please pray that I'll be making good ones today!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who Is The REAL Me?

Who is the real me? Is it the person who woke up while it was still dark to eat breakfast, pack a lunch and get ready for school? The person who sometimes hated 'babysitting' her siblings and took it out on them? The person who had no particular dreams for her life and wasn't really worried about it? The one who outwardly obeyed or the one who inwardly rebelled? The one who loved school or the one who hated it? The one who loves the ocean or the one who loves to play the piano? The one who enjoyed drama at school or the one who caused no end of frustrations to her teachers.

Who is the real me? Is it the person who cries or the person who laughs? The person who loved Bible college or the person who loves research? Is it the person who loved to goof off with other Bible college freshmen or the one who delighted in aceing a test? Is it the one who fell in love the first time, or the one who fell in love the second time? Is it the one who loves to stay home and read or the one who loves to travel? The one who doubts her own judgement or the one who is confident?

Who is the real me? Is it the one who just wants someone else to take care of it all or the one who rolls up her sleeves to help someone else? Is it the one who likes to have woken up early or the one who likes to sleep in? Is it the one who wants to be married and share a life together or the one who would rather just have it her own way and not have to compromise? Is it the person who didn't have the responsibility of children or the one who does? The one who worked earning an income or the one working to raise godly children?

Who is the real me? Am I the 'me' I was before something happened or am I the 'me' since it happened? Is the real me ever suppressed or is it just in a continual state of growth and change?

Here's what I think. I think it's ALL me. At whatever point I find myself in life, THAT is me. I also think that it probably doesn't actually matter much who the real me is, in a sense, because whoever I am needs to die and become whoever it is that God desires for me to be. Why would I ever want to return to a former 'me'? Ideally, that old 'me' is dying a little more each day and the newer 'me' is an improvement. In the end, it's not about me at all. It's about Jesus and who He intends for me to be. Like John the Baptist said: "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Col.3:1-3

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:7-14

More on Birthdays

Previously I wrote a little about birthday without pressure. I wished that I had the time and energy to write more about it but I didn't. Today, I found on The Common Room, a post with great links regarding this very subject. Go check it out and follow the links!

Friday, February 02, 2007

In my heart I find a need

My Savior, My God

The lyrics of this song are so powerful to me. I've heard this song for quite a while now on the radio and at church but my heart never really took in the words until just a couple of weeks ago. When I started researching this song in order to write about it I was surprised to discover that it is a 134-year-old hymn written by Dorothy Greenwell! What a testament to the longevity of a well-written song with powerful words.

I was going to emphasize certain lines that were especially meaningful to me but as a professor in Bible college told us, "You can't highlight everything in the book/Bible/whatever because that would be like highlighting nothing." So I guess I'll have to pick what impacted me the most. It would have to be the very first sentence.

It's such a freeing thing to realize in my heart that I truly do not have to understand what God has planned. It's enough to know that Jesus is my Savior and that He is working tirelessly for my well-being. How can I not trust that kind of overpowering love? Why would I worry about temporal details in the light of such sacrifice and sovereignty? This song is such a great reminder of God's ultimate control and how I can rest in that. I need lots of reminding!

You can see this song performed by Aaron Shust by clicking on the video in my left sidebar.

Aaron Shust's version:

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior


I take Him at his word and deed
Christ died to save me this I read
And in my heart I find a need
For Him to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God is always gonna be

Yes, living, dying; let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, My God He is
My God is always gonna be