Friday, July 31, 2009

so do more than survive, let's live like we're alive

"Single life may be only a stage of a life's journey, but even a stage is a gift. God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving. This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived - not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow."

- Elisabeth Elliot, Let me be a Woman

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever."

- Betty Scott Stam

Thursday, July 30, 2009

cute puppy whistle

Just 'cause.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(insert dc talk lyrics here)

I have a podcast problem. Most of you are aware of this issue. I'm not in denial; I really do need therapy. However, I have been listening to Mark Driscoll's current series and highly suggest checking out the first of his sermons on 1 Peter. Fantastic. And by the way, I went online to link the podcast so you could listen in the car or while working out, etc. and discovered this video. Cracks me up. I think Mark Driscoll's awesome; plus he loves Jesus and teaches brilliantly. Download all of his stuff as soon as you can. Trust me, you'll be obsessed.

Study Guide.

"To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion..., according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you." - 1 Peter 1:1-2

Saturday, July 25, 2009

psalm 8

"... I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
Your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do You bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?..."

"...O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

let's rebel

"I'm a rebel, you know the kind that die in the street cause you refuse to conform, won't eat the king's meat. Christ rebelled by shunning the culture. He eatin' with sinners, givin' Pharisees ulcers. He never got married; He was broke plus homeless. Yeah, that's the God I roll with..." - Lecrae

This morning, I woke up to



I have been digging around all morning for Ri Hyon Ok's story, and if I find it, I'll post it. But even with this little bit of information, I'm honestly overwhelmed. I'm praying Christ would be our only Treasure, so real to us that we consider everything else as worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Him as Lord. And that, for His sake, we will discard everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that we could could gain Christ. (Phil 3:8) What are the chances the woman in the headlines above, executed for distributing Bibles, lived out this verse?

It's all so easy sitting comfortably in the suburbs under our umbrella of religious freedom. William Wilberforce put it this way: "Yet thus life rolls away with too many of us in a course of shapeless idleness. Its recreations constitute its chief business… amusements are multiplied, and combined, and varied, to fill up the void of a listless and languid life; and by the judicious use of these different resources, there is often a kind of sober settled plan of domestic dissipation, in which with all imaginable decency year after year wears away in unprofitable vacancy. Even old age often finds us pacing in the same round of amusements which our early youth had tracked out."

My prayer is for us to be so satisfied in the morning with His unfailing love (Ps 90:14) that our lives won't be described as “shapeless idleness,” “listless and languid," “domestic dissipation,” “unprofitable vacancy."

Paul said, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." How different would our lives be if we could say those words and mean them? Let's rebel.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

". . . A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. But God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper to creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces. If we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God - though it may be the nearest approximation to God which our thought and fantasy can attain. Yet the call is not only to prostration and awe; it is to a reflection of the Divine life, a creaturely participation in the Divine attributes which is far beyond our present desires. We are bidden to 'put on Christ', to become like God. That is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, now what we now think we want. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little."

- C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I honestly believe this may be the coolest topic in the world. And I mean that literally. Right now, people in churches across the U.S. have joined missionaries overseas, sacrificing their summers to serve on continents across the globe. I'm so jazzed to say I know many people ministering to nations on the opposite side of the planet, and I want to ask that you please, please continue to pray for everyone while they're gone. (Specifically be praying for the group currently in Mozambique, Africa!)
A few ways to pray:
- God to exalt his name in the world. (Mat 6:9).
- God to extend his kingdom in the world. (Mat 6:10 ).
- that the gospel would run and triumph. (2 Thes 3:1).
- for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. (Lk 11:13; Eph 3:19).
- God to save unbelievers. (Rom 10:1).
- God would direct the use of the sword. (Eph 6:17-18)
- boldness in proclamation. (Eph 6:18-19) (Acts 4:29).
- for signs and wonders. (Acts 4:30). (Jas 5:17 -18).
- for the healing of unbelievers. (Acts 28:8).
- for miraculous deliverances. (Acts 12:5,12). (Acts 16:25-26).
- for strategic wisdom. (Jas 1:5).
- God to establish leadership in the outposts. (Acts 14:23).
- God to send out reinforcements. (Mat 9:38). (Acts 13:2-3).
- for the success of other missionaries. (Rom 15:30-31).
- for unity and harmony in the ranks. (John 17:20-21).
- for the encouragement of togetherness. (1 Thes 3:10).
- for a mind of discernment. (Php 1:9-10).
- for a knowledge of God's will. (Col 1:9).
- for a deeper sense of assured hope. (Eph 1:16,18).
- for strength and endurance. (Col 1:11 ; Eph 3:16).
- for deeper sense of God's power within them. (Eph 1:16, 19).
- that their faith not be destroyed. (Lk 22:32) (Lk 21:36).
- for greater faith. (Mk 9:24 ; Eph 3:17).
- that they might not fall into temptation. (Mat 6:13) (Mat 26:41).
- that God would complete their resolves. (2 Thes 1:11).
- that they would do good works. (Col 1:10).
- for protection from the evil one. (Mat 6:13).

"So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it."
- 2 Corinthians 5:9

"Dear Lord, I tremble now to pray for readers what I barely feel myself. But I have tasted what our life might be if I, and they, could walk along the ever-present edge of death, and smile with utter confidence that if we fell, or possibly were pushed it would be gain. Oh, what abandon, what great liberty what invincible resolve to love would be our portion if we walked this way! What readiness to suffer for the glory of Christ! What eagerness to show the poor that we would gladly spend and be spent to make them glad in God for all eternity! What lowliness and meekness and freedom from the need for praise and pay! All things are ours in Christ - the world, life, death, the present, the future. All are ours, and we are Christ's. And none of it deserved.

"...Let every wavering heart remember this: You promised 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So may we say with death-defying confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'

"Forbid that any, Lord, who read these words would have to say someday, 'I've wasted it.' But grant, by your piercing Word, that we who name Christ as the Lord would treasure him above our lives, and feel deep in our souls, that Christ is life and death is gain. And so may we display his worth for all to see. And by our prizing him may he be praised in all the world. May he be magnified in life and death. May every neighborhood and nation see how joy in Jesus frees his people from the power of greed and fear.

"Let love flow from your saints, and may it, Lord, be this: that even if it costs our lives, the people will be glad in God. 'Let the people praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.' Take your honored place, O Christ, as the all-satisfying Treasure of the world. With trembling hands before the throne of God, and utterly dependent on your grace, we lift our voice and make this solemn vow: As God lives, and is all I ever need, I will not waste my life. . . through Jesus Christ, AMEN."

- John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life

Monday, July 20, 2009

velveteen rabbit made of steel with a plan

A few days ago, a younger girl friend told me she wants to serve Christ wholeheartedly but is concerned about what that means as a female living in 2009. She has always been given the impression that Christian women are supposed to marry very young; in doing so, are not expected to accomplish much; and should become, in a word, weak. She's not too excited about this concept. (Wow, no kidding?)

She trusts her Savior but has always been taught that the Proverbs 31 woman is also code for Stepford Wife: living a level of perfection that doesn't seem attainable against modern standards; robotic and larger-than-life.

I love the way Leslie Ludy addresses this topic: "'Who can find a virtuous woman?' The word 'virtuous' here is actually a masculine noun that means 'strength, might, valor, and power.' In other words, the Proverbs 31 woman is a mighty, valiant woman full of strength and conquering power. It's the very same word that is used to describe the valiance of David when the Lord chose him to be Israel's mighty king: "I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is...a mighty man of valor, a man of war..and the LORD is with him" (1 Samuel 16:18-19).

"David's mighty valor was unmatched. His power was superhuman. As a boy he killed lions and bears with his bare hands and single-handedly slew the greatest giant in the land. As a man, he valiantly led armies into battle and annihilated all the enemies of the Lord.

"It's this very same heroic valor that marks the Proverbs 31 woman. She has superhuman strength. She has unmatched valor. She valiantly stomps out whatever stands in the way of God's purposes. Nothing hinders her. Her living display of triumph, victory, and the glory of God. The chief word used to the describe the Proverbs 31 woman is the word strength. It's mentioned no less than three times throughout the chapter, in addition to the 'virtuous, valiant' opening description."

I don't know where the idea that serving God from a female standpoint means turning into an unemotional slave originated. It's ridiculous. Ludy nails the real definition: "Set-apart femininity blends the classic womanly grace and dignity of an Audrey Hepburn with the sacrificial, poured-out-for-Christ lifestyle of an Amy Carmichael. It's true feminine beauty merged with absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ. It's the sparkling, vibrant, world-altering, Christlike version of feminity that your King created you to exude."

Stepford? Heck no.

"Comrades, let us be resolute. Let us, by whatever name we are called, be Soldiers, Nazarites, Priests. Some will praise us, some will blame us; let us not care too much about either praise or blame. Let us live looking up, looking on, standing true by the grace of Him who has called us." - Amy Carmichael, God's Missionary

Saturday, July 18, 2009

i had trouble in getting to solla sollew

"I learned there are troubles
of more than one kind;
some come from ahead
and some come from behind.

But I've bought a big bat,
I'm all ready, you see
Now my troubles are going
to have troubles with me!"

- Dr. Seuss,
I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the end is here

We're home! Our month's worth of medical junk is over. Cluster headaches are still happening, but now they will be happening in my own bed. "Real" writing hopefully to come soon.

In the meantime, at the end of this post are two verses I saw, am working on memorizing, and wanted to share in case anyone else needs these words constantly running through their mind. "I'm not just looking to memorize.... I'm looking to change. Scripture memory alone will just make you arrogant. Lapping up those Scriptures like they are the only spring in your desert will make you different. "

"I have resolved that my mouth will not sin."
- Psalm 17:3b
"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."
- Psalm 141:3

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

thinking of prayer as Jesus taught

"Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues 'without ceasing'; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops. And we are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. 'Pray without ceasing...' - maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.

"Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer. He had the unlimited certainty of knowing that prayer is always answered. Do we have through the Spirit of God that inexpressible certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when it seemed that God did not answer our prayer? Jesus said, '...everyone who asks receives...' (Matthew 7:8). Yet we say, 'But..., but....' God answers prayer in the best way - not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may not always immediately follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?

"The danger we have is that we want to water down what Jesus said to make it mean something that aligns with our common sense. But if it were only common sense, what He said would not even be worthwhile. The things Jesus taught about prayer are supernatural truths He reveals to us."

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Monday, July 13, 2009

the end is near

Our medical "vacation" is nearing the four week mark, and thankfully, an end. Mom and I plan to sleep in our own beds Wednesday night and could not be happier to be back with the rest of the family.

To update, tonight will be the 36th evening of cluster headaches. Our goal was to complete twenty treatments up here; in a few days we will have completed what we set out to do, but unfortunately the treatments have not affected my body. We'll be heading home regardless and will continue praying for relief from the pain.

I realize y'all have been praying for a long time, and I can't thank you enough for consistently loving on our family. It's been a hard year, and I'm in tears simply writing this post. In the good and the bad, our God is still faithful.

More to come later this week. I'm beginning to appreciate the little joy that comes from not sharing internet access with a hotel full of people....

Love you guys!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

when the world has fallen out from under me, i'll be found in You - still standing

"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

- 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Thursday, July 9, 2009

clyde kilby's resolutions

1. "At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above me and about me.

2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle and an end. I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death, when he said: 'There is darkness without and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing.'

3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.

4. I shall not turn my life into a thin straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do.

5. I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.

6. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what [C.S.] Lewis calls their 'divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic' existence.

7. I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, at least for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the 'child of the pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder.'

8. I shall follow Darwin’s advice and turn frequently to imaginative things such as good literature and good music, preferably, as Lewis suggests, an old book and timeless music.

9. I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, 'fulfill the moment as the moment.' I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is just now.

10. Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life in the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls Himself Alpha and Omega."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

case of the wednesdays

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27

"God's love is meteoric,
His loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
His verdicts oceanic.
Yet in His largeness nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks."

- Psalm 36:5-6

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

are you easily edified?

"Too often an accurate assessment of my life would reveal that I am easily annoyed, easily irritated, easily impatient, easily hurt, easily angered, easily distracted, easily arrogant, etc."

Alex and Brett Harris's blog post from June 30 covers an issue that has been on my heart over the last few weeks. It's been the topic of many a conversation with close friends lately and, as seen in my journal entries over the past months, has been the core of many prayers.

Read what The Rebelution (as well as those they linked) have to say here.

"Over the past few months God has been working in my heart to restore a sense of awe and amazement — to ignite the idle sticks of my heart into a roaring blaze — but I am still God’s work in progress. Pray for me, as I pray for all of you, that we would grow together into men and women after God’s own heart."

I love you guys!

Monday, July 6, 2009

taxed enough already

My family crashed the Dallas Tea Party over the weekend. Among those sweatin' it out were some of the funniest, friendliest people I've ever met. They posed ("Should I look outraged?") for my pictures:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

let freedom ring

"I have a confession to make. I am truly, madly, deeply in love with America." This morning, the guys at Lone Star Times posted a brilliant blog worth reading. You can go straight to the link here.

Happy Independence Day, y'all!

"All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything."
- 1 Cor. 6:12

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Lord, kill me if i don't preach the gospel"

"Jesus Christ demands of the man who trusts Him the same reckless sporting spirit that the natural man exhibits.... We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God."

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest