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Friday, July 25, 2014

In Quietness and Trust

In Quietness and Trust

“For this is what the master, the LORD, the Holy One of Israel says: “If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered; if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength, but you are unwilling.” Isaiah 30:15

“How are you doing?” my sweet friend asked me a couple days ago. In that setting and at that moment I knew she was asking in a genuine, tell-me-how-you-really-are kind of way. Within two seconds my guard came down and I shared my heart with her.

I began to tell her that not too many days before that, I had shed some tears over all the emotions running through me and in that moment, though all I wanted to do was text or call my closest friends, instead, I talked everything out with Jesus and it was good. It was one of those moments that I knew turning to anything else but Him would have been worthless and nothing anyone would have said would have been helpful. It wasn’t a self-pity moment; it was an honest, this-is-where-I’m-at-Lord conversation that was passed its due date. Thankfully, our emotions don’t define our relationship with Christ, but they are a part of our relationship with Him.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

I confessed to her that for no good reason, I’ve apparently lost my ability to write anything the past few months. That the thought of writing a blog post is nearly daunting and the little blue “W” icon at the bottom of my computer stares blankly at me all day long. That every time I start clicking on the keyboard, I get a few paragraphs in and end up trashing the whole thing because it’s just not good, or helpful, for lack of a better word.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

I shared with her that for the first time ever in my life, as I’m discerning who I can trust with the secrets of my heart, I’ve kept my mouth shut. That somewhere along the way I’ve seemed to have lost all communication capabilities that include both small talk and deep talk and that’s a quandary for someone who is usually an open book.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

I admitted to her that it has been a disheartening season, somewhat lonely, and I don’t know how to communicate that to someone without sounding like a Debbie Downer, but it’s my reality. That sometimes (ahem, most times) in ministry you don’t have it all together but somewhere along the way I’ve believed the lie that people expect you to have it all together. When in reality, people relate to your messiness, not your perfection.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

In the middle of the conversation the word silent struck a chord and I realized that’s exactly the season I’ve been in. A quiet season. Me and Jesus. And you know what? That’s okay. While our temptation is to flee the seasons we loathe, sometimes even the ability to put vocabulary to our seasons helps us to be content while moving us a step forward.

In my own life, and maybe I’m not alone, I’m really good at multi-tasking. I can pour out my heart to both God and man and I enjoy doing both. But over and over again we’re told to pour out our hearts to God, for HE is our refuge, not man. Somewhere along the way I’ve adopted the idea that as I’m waiting on God, I feel that sharing my heart to others will fix it; that in striving for someone to just hear me, all will be well, but it’s in resting in the shadow of the Almighty, in quietly whispering to Him my innermost thoughts that He renews me. Often living in the shadow means that you’re out of sight; and in our flesh we equate out of sight with out of mind, but that’s a lie. Because you and I are safest in His shadow, in quietly waiting on Him, because sister, I can guarantee that you and I are never off of His mind.

Maybe our most profound seasons looking back will be the one’s where it was just you and Jesus, just me and Jesus, because those are the seasons He’s doing a new thing. Those are the intimate seasons no one can take from you. It’s those seasons that you couldn’t explain to someone if you tried. Though we may looked detached, we are more attached to our Creator than ever, and there is joy!

Like my friend shared with me that evening, “Sometimes if we’re seeking and asking the Lord to speak to us and He appears to be quiet, it may be because He just wants to be with us.”

And if I’m learning one thing right now, it’s learning to calmly trust Him.

Looking back I can see clearly now, He’s wanted me for Himself.

And it is well with me.

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62: 1-2, 5-8

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Biblical Information As Told By Children

Children were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected (i.e., incorrect spelling has been left in.)
  1. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
  2. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals come on to in pears.
  3. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
  4. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Gentilels.
  5. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.
  6. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.
  7. Moses led the hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.
  8. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten amendments.
  9. The first commandment was when Eve told adam to eat the apple.
  10. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.
  11. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
  12. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
  13. David was a hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. he fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
  14. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
  15. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.
  16. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager.
  17. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.
  18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.
  19. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "a man doth not live by sweat alone."
  20. It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
  21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.
  22. The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
  23. One of the oppossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.
  24. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.
  25. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

wonderful AND rugged (thats how i like my jesus)


It’s when i let these words soak into my soul that this song really resonates within me. yey. A loved elderly pastor in my past loved this song and appeared rugged himself; like life's rain had aged the wood of the cross.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest & best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

REFRAIN:
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.


O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

(refrain)

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered & died,
To pardon & sanctify me.

(refrain)

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame & reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

Blessings for a Flawed Follower

"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son..." ~Hebrews 11:17


While it might sound odd, one of the reasons I am such a big Old Testament fan is because in it I see God stooping down and redeeming flawed people time after time after time. It's not an account filled with mostly good people and an occasional problem child. No, the Old Testament is packed with murderers, adulterers, doubters, and others who threatened to war down even the most resolute to a nub. People also dealt with everything from relocation and recession to infertility and blended families. Some had it all; others lost all. If we can get past our presuppositions and familiarity with the stories, we'll see people dealing with the same things we face today. You think blended families are hard today? Think about blending two (or more!) wives with one husband! And if infertility is hard today, imagine dealing with it when the only treatment option was another wife. Yes, our lives are complicated, but in many ways [Genesis 11-25] takes "complicated" to entirely new levels!


And while our lives are hard, the verse at the top also takes "hard" to a whole new level. 

Excerpted from the book "Cookies on the Lower Shelf" 
Part I: Genesis through Ruth
by Pam Gillespie

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

God is Love

Jeremiah 31:3 says that God loves you with an everlasting love. He promises that He will go before you, that He will always be with you, that He will never, never, never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He says in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing, not death, nor life, angels nor demons, the present nor the future - nothing in all of creation is able to separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What to Study!

This document is so exciting to me. For the first time since I became a certified Precept Ministries Inductive Studies teacher, the types of studies available have been organized into series, audience & topic. Previously, all of the Precept studies were listed by chronological order within their series type. This organization chart is brilliant because when faced with the decision of where to begin, students can easily become overwhelmed or choose a study that may not fit their ideal subject matter. My hope is that this study blueprint, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will assist you in selecting the perfect study!
~Stephanie